All eyes on Ben Simmons as Kyrie Irving sits out Nets-Spurs game

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets
Nov 20, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) dunks on Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams (4) in the third quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets will be without their superstars Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) and Kyrie Irving (calf soreness) when they begin their five-game road trip against the San Antonio Spurs.

Without the star duo, all eyes will be on the returning Ben Simmons, who was a late scratch in the Nets’ loss to Oklahoma City Thunder due to back soreness.

Simmons went scoreless in Brooklyn’s first game without Durant this season, ending in a 109-98 loss to the rival Boston Celtics. Though he had 13 assists and nine rebounds, his lack of aggressiveness (0 -3 field goals) in scoring was a big letdown that hastened their downfall.

“I think I’m giving the ball up way too many times when I know who I am, I know I need to get to the rim, get buckets. And that’s also going to help my teammates get them going.”

Ben Simmons during Nets-Celtics postgame

Without their top two scorers, the pressure is mounting for Simmons to score more.

Simmons hasn’t scored in double digits in more than three weeks now.

Nets Jacque Vaughn was okay with Simmons not scoring as much as long as he’s anchoring their defense. But circumstances have now changed.

A third straight loss and a Milwaukee Bucks win over Toronto Raptors Tuesday night will drop the Nets to the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

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