Ben Simmons exits Nets’ loss to Pistons in third quarter

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Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons (10) protects the ball from Detroit Pistons’ Jaden Ivey (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

BROOKLYN — Ben Simmons’ tenure with the Nets continued to take twists and turns on Thursday as the star exited Thursday’s game against the Detroit Pistons in the third quarter with left knee soreness. It was unclear as to what led to the injury, but Simmons has been dealing with ailments during the course of this season and had already missed 11 games. 

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn didn’t have too many details about the injury and Vaughn didn’t seem certain that an MRI wouldn’t be needed on Simmons’ knee. Simmons only played roughly 20 minutes in the loss to the Pistons and failed to make much of an impact in the game scoring no points and missing all three shots that he took. 


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Thursday marked the second time this season that Simmons had missed some sort of time in the second game of a back-to-back this season and when asked about it, Vaughn’s answer possibly pointed to a bigger issue. 

“I think the goal is in my eyes, I’ll say this, is for everyone to play every game and to do what’s necessary to be prepared to play every game,” Vaughn said. “There’s a certain amount of minutes that each individual played in Philly. Some play equally tonight. So the preparation that it takes going into that, you just have to give credit to the guys who were prepared to play, ready to play, did what was necessary to get their bodies ready to play.”

There has been a growing focus on Simmons’ inconsistent play this season as he has shown flashes of the player that the Nets expected him to be when they acquired him at the trade deadline last season. Simmons had been somewhat nonexistent in the first half of Wednesday’s loss in Philadelphia before putting on a show in the third quarter. 

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 The Nets need Simmons to play at that level while Kevin Durant is out with an MCL sprain. Now they could be dealing with a situation where they don’t have Simmons or T.J. Warren who exited in the fourth quarter and suffered a knee contusion.

“We just got to take it one day at a time and just want those guys to get healthy,” Kyrie Irving said after the game. “And it’s the most important thing. We just got to carry our own water right now. Chop wood and carry water.”



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