The Nets got some bad news Monday. Seth Curry (ankle) is out and in a surprise, Ben Simmons (knee soreness) is as well for second game of the Pacers mini-series.
“Just has a sore knee that’s that’s all I know really,” said Steve Nash. “Tomorrow we’ll have to monitor and see how he is, but tonight he’s out and we’ll see how the knee is tomorrow and if he’s available.”
Shams Charania added a detail in an interview with Rally.
“I’m told Simmons and the Nets are managing some swelling in his left knee and he will miss either tonight’s game against Indiana or tomorrow’s game against the Bulls,” said Shams.
The 6’10” guard/center has not seemed as athletic as he was the last time he played in the NBA. Marc Stein, writing about reports that Simmons is avoiding the foul line, said some issues may be physical.
My former ESPN teammate Brian Windhorst noted in a recent TV appearance that various scouts he has conferred with believe the reason Ben Simmons is playing with a lack of aggressiveness on offense “isn’t because he’s afraid of missing the shot as much as he’s afraid of being fouled.” More than one scout I’ve spoken to, on top of that, has relayed that Simmons appears to be noticeably less athletic than he was when last seen as a Sixer during the 2020-21 season. The 26-year-old, remember, had back surgery in May.
Simmons has yet to reach double figures in scoring so far for the Nets. As for Curry, Nash said had similar hopes.
“We’ll see. I don’t want to make any sweeping statements about they’re in the same process but we’ll see how Seth is tomorrow and go from there. I think he feels like he’s got a little bit of a ways to go before he’s at his best.”
Meanwhile, two Nets veterans tried to put a good face on things in the morning shootaround.
“Our whole message and vibe is us being able to stick together,” said Patty Mills. “Stay through this time obviously, adversity and backs against the wall but for us to be able to hang tight together and get through this, we obviously have to get better. We obviously have to work on some things. I think the most important message is us being able to stay together and stick together.”
Markieff Morris, who’s been around for a dozen seasons, thinks the early season woes could have a positive side.
“It’s good to see character and guys with their backs against the wall. I like adversity,” said Morris Monday morning. “I feel like I play better and [I] am better during adversity because it brings out who you truly are as a man and as a basketball player.”
Morris also said that he’s prepared to be a leader.
“Yeah, for sure,” said Morris feeling more inclined to take on a leadership role. “I think that’s one of my roles on this team. I’ve been to a lot of places and played with a lot of great players. I’m not the most vocal guy but you know, I had to come out of my comfort zone, just like everybody else here has the ability to turn the page on what we try to do. If it needs to be said, I’ll say it. It’s nothing personal. It’s just one of those things where a voice needs to be heard at all times.”
But he also said he didn’t like that the players-only meeting that took place after the Pacers loss got out.
“I don’t speak on players-only meetings. I don’t even know why you guys know about that,” he said. “That’s something that’s supposed to be between us.”
- Nets Veteran Inclined To Bring Tough Leadership: ‘If It Needs To Be Said, I’ll Say It’ - Chris Milholen - Sports Illustrated