The Brooklyn Nets were at one point the hottest team in the NBA after having won 12 games in row and 14 out of 15 as they vaulted into the top half of the Eastern Conference standings. But they have been without superstar Kevin Durant the last few games as he’s been sidelined with a knee injury and they have dropped four straight games. It would seem like an ample time for Ben Simmons to step up and sort of re-write the narrative on him by helping lead the team in Durant’s absence.
But it has been a struggle of a season for Simmons who returned to the court this year after sitting out all of last season. Against the Suns on Thursday, Simmons got himself ejected from the game after arguing with the officials. He finished the game with seven points, four rebounds and six assists in 18 minutes of play. After the game, he drew a few remarks from Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn via Nick Friedell of ESPN.
“We need him to be productive, and that is without the fouls,” Vaughn said. “That is helping us rebound the basketball. That is playing with poise and composure. That is pushing the pace for us. So unfortunately when you’re a really good basketball player, your list is long and so are the responsibilities. And hopefully, we’ll continue to ask of those things and challenge him and challenge this group to be able to answer those long lists.”
On the season, Simmons is averaging 7.5 points per game, 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists while shooting 57.7 percent from the field.