The Nets were without both Ben Simmons and Seth Curry for Monday’s rematch with the Indiana Pacers after the two had been ruled out earlier in the day. Simmons’ absence is sure to raise some eyebrows considering the way he has started the season.
The team officially listed him out with left knee soreness. Nets head coach Steve Nash provided very limited information prior to Monday’s game.
“He just has a sore knee that’s all I know really,” Nash said. “Tomorrow we’ll have to monitor and see how he is, but tonight we’ll see how the knee is tomorrow and if he’s available.”
NBA Insider Shams Charania reported that Simmons and the Nets had been managing “some swelling in his left knee.”
Simmons had been downgraded to questionable Monday afternoon before Nash addressed reporters at Barclays Center. Curry had been ruled out in that same update after he had originally been listed as questionable due to injury management.
Nash gave a similar response about Curry’s availability going forward as he did with Simmons.
“We’ll see how Seth is tomorrow and go from there,” Nash said. “I think he feels that he’s got a little bit of a ways to go before he’s at his best.”
The Nets face the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at Barclays Center in the second game of a back-to-back.
It has not been the start that Simmons has wanted after missing all of last season while dealing with his mental health and then suffering a back injury during his reconditioning. The absence on Monday comes after he had appeared in the first six games of the Nets season, albeit with a bit of rust.
Simmons has averaged 6.2 points per game, 7.2 assists and 6.5 rebounds this season, but he has also fouled out twice and had four fouls in his previous three games going into Monday’s rematch with the Pacers.
Simmons has been under intense scrutiny since he returned to the court this season and his struggles have been the fodder for sports talk shows and basketball fans on social media. Simmons is coming off of back surgery that he underwent in May.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported that “more than one scout I’ve spoken to, on top of that, has relayed that Simmons appears to be noticeably less athletic than he was when last seen as a Sixer during the 2020-21 season.”
Curry made his season debut on Saturday in the first game against the Pacers and appeared in 17:30 off the bench. He didn’t record a point in the loss and missed all five three-point attempts that he made.
Curry did record six assists and pull down two rebounds.