Two-time All-star Ben Simmons is set to be sidelined for a lengthy period after an MRI revealed that he suffered a subluxation of the left knee cap on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards. The positive news is that Ben Simmons’ MRI showed no significant ligament damage, but head coach Brett Brown was unable to provide a timeline for his comeback, with the playoffs approaching.
The incident occurred in the third quarter after Simmons grabbed a rebound and then appeared to have injured his knee. He hobbled off to the locker room and immediately underwent an MRI scan.
Ben Simmons has Subluxation of the left patella
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) August 6, 2020
“We don’t know, I’m sure the club will make some announcement. But as far as knowing more than that, I don’t. Obviously, I’m very curious“, said coach Brett Brown.
The injury would come as a huge disappointment for Simmons, as he had recovered from a nerve impingement in his lower back which had sidelined him in February. The Sixers beat the Wizards on Wednesday to move to 41-27 and stay in 6th place and are one game off the Indiana Pacers.
With postseason 10 days away, his absence will be strongly felt. Simmons has had an impressive season leading the NBA in steals per game. His career average of 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists at the age of 24, puts him in elite company with legends like Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson.
Simmons’ Impact on the Sixers
Simmons is one of two Sixers to average at least eight assists a game in a season at 24 or younger. Jrue Holiday is the only other Sixer to do so.
Simmons has 1,713 assists since 2016. The number is the most through three seasons in Sixers’ history.
He’s second in the NBA in deflections and leads in defensive loose balls recovered.
Simmons is ninth in PER (player efficiency rating), which essentially measures a player’s per-minute productivity. His true shooting percentage, which measures the efficiency from a shooting perspective, ranks 10th (.579).
Since 2016, Simmons has played for the Sixers, the team is 141-87( .618 winning percentage). In the three seasons before that, the Sixers were 56-190 (.227 winning percentage).
The Sixers are plus-1.8 points per 100 possessions when Simmons and Joel Embiid are both on the floor. They’re plus-12.2 when Embiid plays without Simmons.
𝙿𝙾𝚂𝚃𝙶𝙰𝙼𝙴 𝙼𝙴𝙳𝙸𝙰 | 𝟶𝟾.𝟶𝟻.𝟸𝟶
"His teammates know where they have to be, and we've been able to play a ton through Joel."
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) August 6, 2020
What to expect from 76ers with Ben Simmons injured?
The next few games will be crucial for the 76ers before the commencement of the playoffs and in the absence of Simmons’, the onus will be on the likes of all-star Joel Embiid and Shake Milton to perform creditably and deliver to the satisfaction of the coach and the team.
According to the Playoff Probabilities Report, the Sixers’ are likely to face the Boston Celtics, a team with higher positional versatility than most teams in the NBA. Simmons’ absence against the likes of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward could impact their chances to advance in the playoffs.
Simmons may only be able to watch from the sidelines and there’s no doubt that his absence will have a massive impact on the 76ers. The Sixers will be eagerly anticipating his return to the court for the Eastern Conference playoffs this season.