Philadelphia Welcomes ex-All Star Ben Simmons With Loud Boos; Nets Guard Lets his Game do the Talking

Published 02/03/2024, 6:53 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

In the much-anticipated clash between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers, the absence of Joel Embiid continues to challenge the Sixers. However, a captivating storyline unfolds as the game approaches – the return of Ben Simmons, a former Sixer. Given the green light to play, Simmons recently emerged from a 38-game hiatus, making his comeback against the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, a minor knee injury briefly sidelined him for the subsequent game.

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Nevertheless, ahead of the Sixers matchup, Simmons graced Brooklyn’s practice, signaling another triumphant return to the court. As Simmons took the floor as the 8th man for the Nets, he sparked an electrifying 8-0 run, showcasing his immediate impact and adding an intriguing twist to the unfolding narrative of the game. Moreover, all 8 points came off the transition, asserting the impact Simmons is said to have on the Nets squad.

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As Simmons stepped onto the court with seven minutes left in the first quarter, the fans welcomed their former star with echoing boos in the arena. In Simmons’ previous game, he made a noteworthy impact despite coming off the bench. In route to 10 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds near triple-double, he headlined for taking charge of the tempo, capitalizing on providing teammates with quick scoring opportunities. Moreover, his presence on the court contributed to a more fluid and dependable offensive performance for the Nets.

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Simmons is facing Sixdrs for the fourth time in his career, with averages of 9 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds against them. Despite the challenges, he showcased resilience by adding 9 rebounds and 5 assists in just 13 minutes of play before the fourth, as the Nets held a 23-point lead.

Brooklyn Nets HC is relieved by Ben Simmons

In the pre-season, Ben Simmons conveyed a message of adopting a changed playing style and on-court attitude. However, Simmons again faced challenges of being available for the squad, mainly due to issues with his right knee surfacing multiple times in the past month alone.

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An MRI conducted on Simmons’ knee revealed swelling, fortunately, with no structural damage detected. Last season, Simmons experienced prolonged absences due to the same knee concerns, undergoing procedures like blood drainage and receiving PRP injections. Despite the recurrent nature of the issue, the Nets remain optimistic about Simmons’ availability going forward. Head coach Jacque Vaughn downplayed it as a minor setback while keeping intact Simmons’ potential impact. Interestingly, without him, the Nets rank 22nd in fastbreak points. However, when Simmons is on the court, they surge to the 2nd position.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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