Over the past week, the Brooklyn Nets have endured an especially tough stretch. On the court, they've lost three in a row and stand on the brink of elimination in Round 1.
Off the court, they've just received news that Ben Simmons will be out for Game 4, spelling bad news for their hopes of a victory.
In a new report on the situation, Adrian Wojnarowski described Nets players as surprised and disappointed by the news, illustrating the state of morale within the locker room.
Within hours of his planned season debut, Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons reported a return of back soreness on Sunday, sources told ESPN, and has been ruled out for Monday's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics.
After approximately 10 days of pain-free ramp up following recovery from a herniated disc, Simmons' admission at the team practice facility was met with surprise and disappointment. On the brink of a sweep to the Celtics, the Nets had hoped Simmons would be in uniform and active with the hope of coach Steve Nash using him in limited minutes, sources said.
While Nash and Nets players had publicly said that they were unsure whether Simmons would finally play in Game 4 on Monday, Simmons and the organization had discussed at length a plan for his debut to come on Monday in Game 4 at the Barclays Center, sources said.
A return this season isn't technically impossible for Simmons. If the Nets can get a win on Monday, it could mean the former 76ers star sees the floor for Game 5.
Whatever the case, the Nets will have to make do without Ben for at least another game, which shouldn't be too much of an issue considering he's been out all season.
But for a Nets team desperate for some good news, the latest update about Simmons is just another blow to the franchise and their title hopes.