The injury woes appeared to continue for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons when he did not play in Saturday's loss to the Denver Nuggets, but that absence reportedly cost his team off the court as well.
Denver took advantage of the shorthanded 76ers and won 115-103.
Philadelphia underwent some drastic changes in the offseason, particularly with the hiring of Doc Rivers as head coach and Daryl Morey as president of basketball operations.
Morey made several moves to add shooters like Seth Curry and Danny Green to ease the burden on Simmons and Joel Embiid. The early returns have been positive, as the team is off to a 7-3 start.
Simmons' health will be an important element for Philadelphia in its quest to compete with the best teams in the Eastern Conference. He suffered a partial and temporary dislocation of his left kneecap during the third quarter of Philadelphia's 107-98 win over the Washington Wizards on Aug. 5.
The injury required surgery that kept him out for the remainder of the year. The Sixers were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Injuries were a problem for Simmons throughout the 2019-20 campaign. The two-time All-Star sat out nine of Philadelphia's final 10 games before the season was suspended in March due to a nerve impingement in his back.
The LSU product averaged 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game in 2019-20. He's not scoring as much so far this season (13.4 points per game), but his rebounding has gone up with 8.8 per contest.
Until Simmons can return to the lineup, Rivers will likely use Dakota Mathias and Isaiah Joe in the backcourt since Shake Milton also missed the Denver game.