Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons made his long-awaited return to Philadelphia as he and the Nets took on the Philadelphia 76ers on the road in a very hostile environment.
The game was Simmons’ first time playing in Philly as a member of the 76ers organization.
Philadelphia, despite its lack of personnel, was able to defeat Brooklyn in the matchup as the Sixers won 115-106.
Despite the result, Simmons continued his trend of solid play that he’s been working on lately and had a great performance.
For most of the night, the 26-year-old faced a brutal Philadelphia crowd.
However, some Sixers fans showed him some love before the game started.
Ben Simmons literally climbed into the stands to sign autographs and take selfies with fans after his pregame practice. pic.twitter.com/gCfAlVWtpR
— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) November 22, 2022
After the game, he expressed his gratitude for that.
“It was nice to still have the support in Philadelphia. … I think I’ve done some things that can be respected in Philadelphia.”
Ben Simmons signs autographs in Philly before the Sixers-Nets game
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 23, 2022
Simmons expected more as it pertains to the general atmosphere created by the Sixers crowd.
He had been booing most of the night, but he thought the crowd would be louder.
Ben Simmons on his reception from the crowd in Philly tonight:
“I thought it would be higher” pic.twitter.com/CGdd0WqnPO
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) November 23, 2022
Simmons and the Nets will face the 76ers on the road again in January, so the environment will be another storyline to watch the second time around.
Is Simmons officially back?
In the first few weeks of the 2022-23 campaign, Simmons looked like a shell of his old self.
He has averaged just 5.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists per contest through his first nine games this season.
However, it has started to pick up over the past week and the trend is here to stay.
Here’s how the three-time All-Star has fared in his last four games:
- at Sacramento Kings: 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists (limited to 20 minutes)
- At Portland Trail Blazers: 15 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists (32 minutes)
- vs. Memphis Grizzlies: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists (35 minutes)
- At Philadelphia 76ers: 11 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks (32 minutes)
Simmons is playing at a high level again, which is great news for the Nets.