April 14, 2022
Ben Simmons is apparently targeting Games 4-6 of Brooklyn's playoff series against Boston as his hopeful return to the basketball court and Nets debut.
NBA Insider Brian Windhorst reported the news on ESPN's Get Up Thursday morning, but even he seemed baffled by what he had heard.
"I'm told that Ben Simmons is targetting Games 4, 5 or 6 for making his Brooklyn Nets debut. I mean I gotta say that I was taken aback by being told that information and my response was 'is he even playing 5 on 5 yet?' and the answer to that is 'no' but the hope is that by the end of the week he can ramp up to that.
So that is still some time, we're still talking about over seven days. It's a big ask, but I have to say, really for seven, eight weeks now I've heard nothing but pessimism on the Ben Simmons front and that has switched dramatically in the last few days.
So I mean right now, I would say, I have to report it is possible we will see Ben Simmons in this series against the Celtics."
Brian Windhorst says the hope is for Ben Simmons to ramp up to playing 5 on 5 by the end of the week.— Erik Slater (@erikslaterNR) April 14, 2022
“I’ve heard nothing but pessimism on Simmons for the last 7 weeks but that has changed dramatically in the last few days.” pic.twitter.com/Q3FglsBpPS
The Ben Simmons saga with the Nets has somehow become an even bigger mystery than what it was with the Sixers.
Since the trade for James Harden back in February, Simmons hasn't looked even remotely close to playing, and on April 4 was officially shut down for the rest of the regular season with a herniated disk in his back and no timetable to return.
Then on Tuesday, a report surfaced that Simmons could play in the later round of the playoffs, provided the Nets get that far, and has a confidence right now to where "he walks around like he's Jordan."
Now he's somehow jumped up to the first round of the playoffs.
It's a headscratcher for sure.
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