Last February, the Brooklyn Nets decided to change things up when they traded James Harden for polarizing Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons. They hoped that Simmons would stabilize their team amidst a disappointing campaign. Unfortunately, due to injuries, Simmons never played a game.
That meant the Nets’ season opener against the Pelicans on Wednesday night was Simmons’ official debut with Brooklyn. How did it go? It probably couldn’t have gone worse for a player known for his versatility as a Swiss Army Knife.
In 23 minutes, Simmons recorded:
- Four points (he only took three shots!)
- Five boards
- Five assists
- Three turnovers
He was 0-for-2 on free throws.
Oh, and Simmons fouled out with 9:01 left in the fourth quarter! (All night long, Zion Williamson (25 points) generally had his way with Simmons.)
“It takes time,” Simmons said of his rough start. “Having back surgery and being away from the game for a year there are little things that your mind might tell you to do something, but your body’s not wanting to do that.”
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As Brooklyn struggled in a 130-108 blowout loss, it probably could’ve used him down the stretch. It’s a long season, but Simmons will definitely have to pick it up if he’s going to be a big part of Brooklyn’s overall dynamic.
Contributing: Associated Press