Ben Simmons On His Recurring Knee Injury: ‘It’s Not A Made-Up Thing

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The Brooklyn Nets remain a New York metro turnstile on defense, becoming the first NBA team to allow 150 this season. The 153 points the Kings scored were their highest output since 1993. The defense wasn’t the only problem; Brooklyn (6-9) trailed by as many as 39 points on a night where they just didn’t compete.

Sacramento shot 10-12 during their game-deciding blitz late in the first half. They also hit 6-6 inside and three-point arc while forcing the Nets into 1-11 shooting and 1-8 in the paint during Sacramento’s decisive run. The Kings entered Tuesday winners of six of their last eight contests.

“S—t, we got smacked. They were better offensively and defensively. They played as a team (for) four quarters,” Ben Simmons said, per the New York Post. ” They just played better than us — They wanted it more. Obviously, we didn’t want it.”

Simmons recorded 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists on 5-7 shooting from the field. The output is the most he’s scored since June 14, 2021. When Brooklyn traded for the LSU product at last season’s trade deadline, they hoped the three-time All-Star would solve their defensive woes as a two-way menace.

So far, Simmons has averaged a career-low 5.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 5.6 rebounds per game on 48.1 percent shooting from the field. As a defense, Brooklyn ranks 23rd in the League with a 112.7 defensive rating.

Some of their woes may be attributed to Simmons’ lack of aggression and availability. According to Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Nets have reportedly grown frustrated with Simmons’ health and level of play. Simmons missed the last eight days after he got his left knee drained because of fluid build-up. The one-time steal champ acknowledged that criticism but reiterated that his injury concerns are “a real thing.

“You’re obviously not gonna be happy when anybody’s out,” Simmons told The Athletic, “But for me, I’ve been dealing with the knee since the start of the season. It’s been swollen. I had PRP (injections). I had blood rained a couple (of) times. So it’s not a made up thing, you know” It’s a real thing.

“I get (the skepticism), but I think the one thing with me is that I’m a competitor. I want to win and play. So I’m gonna do what I can to get out there.”

It’s been a tough two years for Simmons, who’s had to battle criticism about his lack of aggression and mental health. He noted that his back problems started on Fed. 22, 2020, against the Milwaukee Bucks, when he said he went to the hospital because he was in so much pain.

Simmons said his latest injury had required near-constant care while his back has vastly improved. He’s said that he’s “on full overload with treatment” and is doing “everything I need to do to stay out there, “like “spending more time on the table,” and when he’s away from the facility, he makes sure that he’s keeping his leg up and “icing, doing whatever I need to do — sleeping.”

Simmons and the Nets will have a chance to avenge their blowout loss with a road game against the Trail Blazers.

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