Ben Simmons Ruled Out For Play-In Tourney; Are Nets Equipped To Advance?

Nets newcomer Ben Simmons is supposedly exactly what his new team needs, but he may not get a chance to show it until 2022-23.Ben Simmons

That’s because Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters Simmons has been ruled out for the remainder of the regular season, as well as the play-in tournament.

The play-in is precisely where the Nets appear to be headed, and it appears they will try to ride Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the rest to their preseason status as Eastern Conference favorites. 

Can they do it without Simmons, acquired in the James Harden trade with the 76ers in February? It hasn’t really happened so far. The Nets have been very good — in spurts. But in other games, they seem to be missing a reliable third wheel. Let’s not forget, the one perimeter shooter they could always count on, Joe Harris, is also out for the season after foot surgery.

Simmons won’t replace Harris in that regard, but Simmons is an All-Star when it comes to facilitating offense, playing unselfishly and especially, defending on the perimeter. About the only thing he can’t do is shoot.

Durant was open about the Nets’ chances, telling reporters he feels as if his midseason injury sort of derailed things. Ever since, the Nets have been attempting to get back on track. “Not that we’re a bad basketball team,” he stressed.

As for the play-in tourney, Durant added that the Nets are just fine with whatever route they have to take. At this point, that’s probably the only approach.

“Who cares?” he said. “… Just play the game. We’ll see what happens.”

And it appears the Nets will have to see what happens without the main acquisition in the Harden trade.

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