Ben Simmons following the Nets’ loss to the short-handed Sixers:

Yeah, well, the absence of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey depleted a lot of the juice for this game. People weren’t half as hyped as they would have been, and then when the Sixers took the lead there was a “oh shit this is gonna be a game” type of moment. There were a bunch of people who bought tickets for this one before Embiid was ruled out, then some of those seats went back on the market at a discount.

Plus, this wasn’t Ben’s first return to Philly after the trade. It happened last year, only he didn’t play, so Sixers fans were kind of robbed of that de facto “Ben returns” game because of extenuating circumstances, not once, but twice.

Ben looked pretty good early on, started with something like four assists in the first couple minutes. They really do put together some nice, free-flowing movements with K.D. and Kyrie Irving, but when it came down to the fourth quarter, Simmons logged 0 points, 0 assists, and 0 rebounds, so it’s really the same shit that it’s always been. He’s an elite player when attacking the basket and showing confidence, but his inability to impact the game late is an Achilles heel.