Ben Simmons done for the regular season

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Ben Simmons done for the regular season

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash has announced that Ben Simmons will be unable to make his debut for the team until after the play-in games at least.

The All-Star point forward was a high-profile acquisition from the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of February’s trade deadline but aggravated a back injury while ramping up his conditioning after not suiting up for the 76ers during a lengthy holdout.

Brooklyn is destined for the play-in games after a woeful 40-38 record with four games left to play in the regular season.

Their plight is largely owed to season-long injury woes to stars like Kevin Durant, as well as Kyrie Irving’s vaccine-related unavailability for home games.

James Harden trading Brooklyn for Joel Embid’s company in Philadelphia did not help matters either.

The Nets will have to win at least one play-in contest to qualify for the main playoff draw and things will only get tougher from there with the Heat or the Celtics waiting in the wings to end their journey.

Ben Simmons, the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft averages 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per game for his career. With a 6-foot-11 frame, the Australian has cemented himself as a dominant defensive presence and one of the league’s best playmakers in transition.

However, his struggles on offense, largely in part due to his reluctance to shoot the ball have caused friction between him and his former team many a time.

Simmons’ shooting woes were there for the world to see during the 76ers’ 2021 playoff run.

Philly’s second-round upset at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks was blamed on Simmons shooting just 34.2% on 73 free throws and seemingly shying away from open scoring opportunities in an effort to avoid being hack-a-Shaqed.

After a very public fallout with the franchise, the 76ers ultimately traded Simmons in a package deal for star James Harden.

The drama has not ended between the two as Simmons has now filed a grievance against his former team over nearly $20 million in withheld salary with arbitration needed to solve the matter.

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