Nothing is going right in Brooklyn, with Kyrie Irving now suspended, Ben Simmons sidelined and the team struggling in general to live up to expectations on the court.
And as if the Nets didn’t already have big enough issues, they will now be without Simmons for at least their next two games.
Simmons, who also missed Wednesday’s [AEDT] game against the Bulls, won’t travel to Washington or Charlotte with the team as he deals with soreness and swelling in his left knee, interim coach Jacque Vaughn said following Friday’s practice.
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Vaughn left the door open to Simmons playing in Dallas on Tuesday.
“I’m just gonna say two [games] because of the back-to-back and then we’ll kind of address and see where he is after that,” Vaughn said.
Simmons didn’t practice on Friday, with Vaughn saying he was getting treatment to get the swelling down on his knee.
Since coming to Brooklyn in a deal that sent James Harden to Philadelphia last February, Simmons has played just six games, all at the start of this season.
A back injury kept him from playing for the Nets last season, and he did not play at all while with the Sixers, citing mental health amid a holdout following his relationship with the franchise deteriorating.
Speaking on ESPN’s ‘NBA Today’, Adrian Wojnarowski said there was already a sense of disappointment inside the Nets organisation with how Simmons had looked before the injury.
“Ben Simmons has been a source of frustration for Kevin Durant, for others on the Nets so far, because now he is unable to stay on the floor with a knee injury but prior to that, he has shown that he’s a long way away from being back to an impactful player,” Wojnarowski said.
“It’s a big part of the reason why the Nets are at the bottom of the league defensively and none of this really works. This team was built and reconstructed around the idea Simmons would play a significant role for this team, especially on the defensive end, especially rebounding the basketball and certainly facilitating the offence.
“There is no indication Ben Simmons is close to being back to anywhere near the player he once was.”
— With New York Post