The Brooklyn Nets have found themselves near the tail end of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and with just a few months to go in the regular season, they need to get healthy, and soon.
That’s why Nets fans had a reason for optimism on Thursday when general manager Sean Marks told the YES Network that newly-acquired forward Ben Simmons would begin being worked “into game shape” after next week.
Simmons has yet to play a game this season, as he has sat out the entirety of the year waiting for a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons got that trade at the trade deadline a few weeks ago, when he, Seth Curry, and Andre Drummond were shipped to Brooklyn for James Harden and Paul Millsap.
Simmons is also not the only one missing time for the Nets at the moment, with Kyrie Irving still only able to play away games and Joe Harris recently ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
Curry and Drummond have already picked up some slack since the trade, with Curry averaging 16.6 points per game for the Nets and Drummond averaging 9.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Before this season, Simmons had more than proved his worth as one of the NBA’s best, accumulating three All-Star appearances and being named to two All-Defensive teams and one All-NBA team.
The Nets are currently fighting to stay in the playoffs altogether, as they are now eighth in the East with a record of 32-32 but are just 2.5 games ahead of the 11th-placed Washington Wizards (28-33) and 5.0 games back of the sixth-place Cleveland Cavaliers (36-26).
Brooklyn looks to end their three-game losing streak on Sunday when they head to TD Garden to take on the Boston Celtics (38-27).