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Ben Simmons Mocked by Twitter for Not Scoring as Nets Lose to Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2023

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons looks for an open teammate during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

The Brooklyn Nets are going to need Kevin Durant to compete with the Boston Celtics come playoff time.

Boston came into Barclays Center on Thursday and left with a 109-98 victory in the potential postseason preview. While the Nets didn't have Durant because of a knee injury, Jaylen Brown was sidelined on the other side with an adductor strain.

Brooklyn fell to 27-14 on the campaign and has now lost two of its last four following a 12-game winning streak.

The Nets are going to need scoring to make up for the absence of Durant, and they had five players in double figures, including Kyrie Irving (24 points) and T.J. Warren (20 points). However, none of that scoring came from Ben Simmons, who failed to notch a single point while going 0-of-3 from the field.

To his credit, he dished out 13 assists and grabbed nine rebounds in a strange performance that drew some praise but mostly criticism:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Ben Simmons tonight:<br><br>13 AST<br>9 REB<br>0 PTS (0/3 FG) <a href="https://t.co/eCGfTDNvHM">pic.twitter.com/eCGfTDNvHM</a>

Russillo @ryenarussillo

Interesting Simmons game. He was great in transition. Nets +10 with him, -13 w/o him on floor in first half. <br><br>Second half was subbed out at 7:00min of 4th. Never came back in.

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Simmons drew some boos from the Barclays crowd after not going up for that shot near the rim. He comes right back down the floor and misses another look. <br><br>The Nets aren't winning many games during this stretch when Simmons isn't giving them any scoring.

Jac Manuell @JacManuell

Ben Simmons against Boston <a href="https://t.co/M31Ljn1SHt">pic.twitter.com/M31Ljn1SHt</a>

Tremain @YourBoyTre

Ben Simmons does practice layup drills?

Connor Bigelow πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ @NOTORiousBIGs21

Ben Simmons is allergic to lay ups it's hilarious πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ idk how many times he's had chances to at least go into someone and create contact to either get the lay or go to the line

. @IcySimmons

For every good thing Ben Simmons does there's two bad things to go along with it man this is not a winning player

Gboye @mcgboye

Ben Simmons doing a lot of excellent play making and defending but he's not giving them any scoring and that is showing. Without KD, they need him to score 10+ every night alongside all the other stuff.

Jamestown @jamestown_502

Ben Simmons has to score with KD out. <br><br>No ducking, its required. <br><br>Defense, passing and rebounding is great…but he has to get buckets. <br><br>No way around it.

Quanathan Kuminga @iAmQuanJay

Ben simmons should be averaging at least 15 when kd is out. This not gonna cut it

Chris Herring @Herring_NBA

Simmons is so unique, man. It's really cool.

NBA @NBA

Ben Simmons DISHING early.<br><br>The outlet to Yuta followed by the hit-ahead to Harris... he's got 7 assists after 1Q on TNT πŸ”₯ <a href="https://t.co/N1Q5KfgQT0">pic.twitter.com/N1Q5KfgQT0</a>

It will take a group effort for Brooklyn to survive without Durant, especially against elite teams, and it received just that for extended stretches in Thursday's contest.

Warren and Seth Curry provided a spark off the bench, Joe Harris found his stroke from deep, and Nic Claxton protected the rim on the defensive side. It was far from just everyone standing around and hoping Irving would go to work without Durant, and it put the Nets in position to potentially win down the stretch.

However, it became more difficult to compete as the game progressed with the Celtics not having to worry about Simmons as a scorer. That was never clearer than in the second half when he had a layup but instead passed it to Claxton in a play that ended up with a turnover.

Nobody is asking Simmons to score 20 points a night, but he will need to provide more than zero while Durant is out with his injury.

He will get another chance to do just that Sunday when the Nets host the Oklahoma City Thunder.