Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Another report time running out on Ben Simmons to return for playoffs

Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo emerging as clear favorites for the NBA MVP award as they continue to trade fantastic performances.

At this point, does anyone expect Ben Simmons to be back during the playoffs?

While Steve Nash has ruled Simmons out of the play-in game or games, the Brooklyn Nets will not fully close the door on a playoff return. However, that return is not likely and Brian Lewis at the New York Post notes time is running out on a comeback. Here is what a source told Lewis:

“It looks like he’s doing a little bit better... You know, it’s just a timing thing. The problem is the season is running out. But he’s doing [more]. He’s starting to do a little bit more movement, AlterG (an anti-gravity treadmill), stuff like that. So … we’ve got to be patient with it. I don’t think he’ll need a procedure, though. But you’ve just got to be patient with it.”

Patience may be difficult. If the current Eastern Conference seedings hold, the Nets will face the Cavaliers in the 7/8 play-in game next week, and if they win that they go up against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. That would be a tough matchup for the Nets without the defense of Simmons, and he doesn’t sound close to a return (don’t let last year’s Bucks/Nets fool you, this year the series will not be as tight).

Simmons has not played a minute of NBA basketball this season, citing mental-health issues while not suiting up for the 76ers, then due to a back issue after being traded to the Nets. Is Brooklyn going to throw a player who hasn’t set foot on an NBA court this season straight into the deep end of the playoffs against the defending champs — especially a guy who struggled with pressure last postseason?

Don’t expect to see Simmons these playoffs. But to keep the player happy, the Nets will not publically rule him out, either.