Sixers’ Brett Brown speaks out on Ben Simmons’ back injury
Sixers head coach Brett Brown said Simmons tweaked his lower back going up for a rebound in practice, immediately leaving practice after the play. The Sixers are merely taking a day-to-day approach:
Brett Brown said Ben Simmons injured his lower back yesterday at practice when he went up for a rebound. Simmons immediately left the practice after the play. Brown said he doesn't think it's anything significant.
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 20, 2020
It is somewhat curious Simmons is suddenly experiencing discomfort considering he played a team-high 29 minutes for Team LeBron during the All-Star Game.
Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker has already been ruled out for Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after playing through his minutes limit during the All-Star Game, and he continues to deal with knee soreness.
Perhaps the physical nature of that fourth quarter is taking its toll on Simmons, as well.
The 23-year-old has been fantastic for the Sixers this season, averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds while absolutely harassing ball-handlers on the defensive end of the floor.
Simmons was particularly dominant in January. He averaged 22.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists while posting a +23 net rating, according to Basketball Reference.
He has still shown hesitance in letting it fly from the perimeter, attempting just six three-pointers all year. There have also been questions about the viability of he and Joel Embiid sharing the floor together.
However, the Sixers won each of their last three prior to the break, and Brown may have unlocked the key to their success by moving Al Horford to the bench.
The Sixers could make a push for the third seed in the East, but they will have to play some splendid basketball the rest of the way.
It starts on Thursday against the Nets, where Philly hopes to win without Simmons on the floor.