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‘He was getting booed even on the bench’ – NBA insider comments on Ben Simmons’ hostile environment in Philadelphia as he faces them for the first time since leaving the Sixers

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Ben Simmons will play against his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers for the first time on Tuesday night. After being traded to the Nets at the February trade deadline last season, Simmons didn’t play at all, so he wasn’t available for the Brooklyn-Philadelphia matchups at the time.

Simmons plays Tuesday night and the game is in Philadelphia.

Although the city is called “The City of Brotherly Love”, crowds in Philadelphia have a reputation for being hostile. Philadelphia fans booed Simmons when he played for them and when he was on the Nets bench. NBA analyst Shams Charania explained how fans would react on FanDuel TV:

“He was booed even on the bench. … I can only imagine what the environment will be like when he actually gets dressed tonight and plays.

“…I can only imagine what the environment will be like when he actually gets dressed tonight and plays.”

@ShamsCharania on 76ers fans against Ben Simmons to play his first game in Philadelphia since being traded #RunItBack 👀👀

📺📺: FanDuel.com/TV

“…I can only imagine what the environment will be like when he actually gets dressed tonight and plays.”@ShamsCharania on 76ers fans against Ben Simmons to play his first game in Philadelphia since being traded #RunItBack 👀📺: FanDuel.com/TV

The Sixers (8-8) are going to need their fans to be a distraction tonight. They will be without their top three players. Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey will not all be available. The Nets (8-9) will enter with Simmons and Kevin Durant and this will be Kyrie Irving’s second game back from suspension.

Brooklyn currently sits last in the Atlantic Division, half a game behind the Sixers. A win would raise the Nets’ record to .500 and put them ahead of Philadelphia.


Ben Simmons plays well

Ben Simmons returns to Philadelphia on a hot streak. Simmons had the best three-game streak of his time in Brooklyn. He’s averaging 16.0 points, 5.0 assists and 8.6 rebounds per game over his last three games. That includes his season-high 22 points in the Nets’ last game, a 127-115 win Sunday over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Ben Simmons Last 3 matches:

22 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 85% FG
15 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST, 100% FG
11 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 71% FG

Ben Simmons Last 3 Games: 22 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST, 85% FG15 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST, 100% FG11 PTS, 5 REB, 3 AST, 71% FG

This might be a good time for Simmons to return to Philadelphia and face his old team. The Sixers will be without Joel Embiid, which means they will be short on rim protection to prevent him from driving to the basket. The team doesn’t have a major offensive threat outside of Tobias Harris, whom Simmons can keep most of his time on the court.

The Nets could continue to build on something with a win tonight against Philadelphia. It would be their best third straight win of the season and raise the team record to .500. If the Nets can get a healthy Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, they can start to look like the contender fans and the media thought they could be before the season started.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org