Ben Simmons of the Nets was booed a lot by 76ers supporters in his first game back in Philadelphia4 min read
Simmons played in Philadelphia for the first time since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2021.
On Tuesday night, Ben Simmons, a member of the Brooklyn Nets, made his eagerly anticipated return to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. Since Game 7 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals, when Simmons notoriously missed a dunk opportunity while playing for the Sixers, Simmons hadn’t played in Philadelphia. This game was his first game there since that time. After that game, Simmons never returned to the court for the Sixers as he asked for a trade during the offseason, which was eventually granted when he was sent to Brooklyn in February.
The season after the trade, the Nets played in Philadelphia, but Simmons was injured. Despite this, he was still the target of a great deal of criticism from Philadelphia supporters. But this time, Simmons was ready to perform, and the audience was ready for him. As soon when Simmons emerged from warmups, he was greeted with jeers, and those jeers only grew louder as spectators found their seats and the arena filled up.
Due to the absence of the Sixers’ three top players, Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and Joel Embiid, this clash lacked a lot of energy. However, it didn’t appear to bother the crowd too much because they made sure to get energised when Simmons was presented.
The reaction was perhaps a little more muted than anticipated, but the jeers didn’t stop during the pregame ceremonies. All of Simmons’ early touches in the match were received with jeers.
In the last week or two, Simmons has been playing some of his best basketball of the year, and he’ll try to keep it up in a hostile environment.
The return of Kyrie Irving is bad news for the Nets, according to history.
The potential of the Durant-Irving-Simmons three will never live up to expectations.
After serving his ban, Kyrie Irving is back. Ben Simmons has produced three games in a row that live up to his prior brilliance. The transcendent scoring machine Kevin Durant, who averages more over 30 points per game and is now free of the head coach he attempted to oust over the summer, is still Kevin Durant.
The Brooklyn Nets are feeling positive, especially with the possibility to defeat a depleted Philadelphia 76ers team Tuesday night and win three straight games for the first time this season.
Don’t be duped by any of it. This Nets team just has disappointment and controversy to offer.
If Simmons has another strong performance upon his return to Philadelphia, the fleeting optimism that is a Brooklyn Nets specialty will undoubtedly spread. Or if Irving has a breakout game after returning from an eight-game suspension for endorsing an anti-Semitic film after only 26 minutes of action.
Avoid being drawn in.
Even though the illusion is more convincing, the farce is still there: This talented group is a timebomb, not a contender for the championship. They lack substance and just have drama. They are the shimmer without much potential for the bling.
They could pull off an unexpected result, as with everything in sports. Against all chances and precedent, the Durant-Irving-Simmons trio would come together and enjoy a regular-season parade of triumphs that led to a playoff run deserving of the anticipation that has been building in Brooklyn ever since Kyrie and KD linked up.
But according to history, common sense, and a number of NBA league insiders, the norm is more of the same: drama, the underdog doing fine, and an inevitable grotesque meltdown that serves as a reminder of who the underdog really was all along.
For a championship run, star power is a need, but chemistry is the secret ingredient that must go with it. One of the reasons the Golden State Warriors have prevailed year after year, with or without Kevin Durant, is that the locker room is full of real leaders, true believers, and real unity. At least, it was until Draymond Green hit teammate Jordan Poole in the face earlier this season.
This most recent Los Angeles Lakers squad illustrates the other side of the coin: talent without teamwork may result in blame without hope.
But when compared to this Nets team, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis are a TED Talk on teamwork and chemistry.
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