The Brooklyn Nets are somehow still fighting in the playoffs. After trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, many expected this team to fall off a cliff. Instead, Brooklyn built upon their solid record, doing just enough to stay out of the Play-In. Their reward is a matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. However, one of the most hated men in Philly won’t be joining the Nets: Ben Simmons, who will stay in Brooklyn to rehab, per Tim Bontemps.
“Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said Ben Simmons will remain here to rehab, but that the rest of Brooklyn’s roster is healthy and ready to go for Saturday’s Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Vaughn is excited about his team’s week of preparation and believes the Nets are ready.”
Simmons is dealing with a back injury that has kept him out of action for quite some time now. The Nets were hoping that the departures of Irving and Durant would force Ben to be the top option. Unfortunately, the back ailment is forcing Vaughn to look for alternative options.
That alternative blessing came in the form of Mikal Bridges, who is tearing up the Nets’ opponents. Bridges brings the defense that made Ben Simmons a prized prospect, all while providing more scoring that Simmons ever did in Brooklyn jersey. The ex-Suns star’s explosions are the biggest reason with they’re in the playoffs right now.
It will be tough for the Nets to make it out of the playoffs against Joel Embiid and the Sixers, with or without Simmons. We’ll see what they pull out of their bag of tricks to escape Philly.
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