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With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving now out of Brooklyn, there’s even more of a spotlight on Ben Simmons, which isn’t exactly a good thing.
Simmons came off the bench against the New York Knicks on Monday night and put on quite the performance. He played just 13 minutes, but they were an eventful 13 minutes, to put it lightly.
The 26-year-old scored just two points while attempting just two shots on the night and it was his lack of a field goal attempt in the first quarter that has the entire NBA world talking.
After receiving a perfect bounce pass from Cam Johnson, and with a wide-open lane to the basket, Simmons passed up on the easy layup and dumped the ball off to Nic Claxton. The Nets came up empty on the possession.
His missed shot in the game may have been worse than the actual passed-up layup.
Staring at a wide-open basket, Simmons managed to barely graze the rim with his shot attempt underneath the basket.
Ben Simmons Knows A Thing Or Two About Passing On Open Shots
Simmons is of course no stranger to passing up wide-open layups. He elected not to attempt a layup during the 2021 playoffs when with the Philadelphia 76ers, who ultimately lost the particular playoff series to the Atlanta Hawks.
READ: BEN SIMMONS IS ‘STEALING MONEY’ FROM THE NETS, ACCORDING TO STEPHEN A. SMITH
Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn spoke after the Nets’ loss to the Knicks on Monday and explained that the team is still trying to figure out who to play alongside Simmons.
“It’s going to be some work that we have to do,” Vaughn told reporters. “Because you just take a look at what the lineups could potentially look like. You put another big next to Ben, then you got to figure out what the spacing is around him. Then if you put a playmaker next to him, then you got to figure out what Ben looks like without the basketball. Then if you go small with Ben, then you have to figure out can you rebound enough with him.”
It’s been clear for quite a while that Simmons is nothing more than a headache for the Nets, and his display against the Knicks is just the latest example of that.