Brooklyn Nets' Ben Simmons Ejected Against the Phoenix Suns

The Brooklyn Nets fell 117-112 to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, and it may have had something to do with missing one more star than they expected. Point guard Ben Simmons was ejected after 18 minutes following a disagreement with a referee.

Following a screen, Simmons was called for a personal foul, his fifth of the game. He expressed some exasperation on his way to the bench, and that earned him a trip to the locker room. He ended his night with seven points on 3-4 shooting with four rebounds and six assists. In his absence, Kyrie Irving took on an enormous workload, hitting 11 of his 27 field goal attempts for 30 points. Kevin Durant remains out with a knee injury.

Simmons has been a startlingly unproductive addition since joining the Nets late last season, averaging a mere 7.5 points on 5.9 field goal attempts per game. Despite his unwillingness to shoot and his struggles at the line (.431 free throw percentage), he remains a valuable defender and playmaker, with 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game to his credit. So long as Durant and Irving can dominate touches, the Nets will be a dominant team, even with Simmons in a specialized role. However, with each passing game, it appears less and less likely Simmons will ever reemerge as an offensive star.

The Nets travel to face the Utah Jazz on Friday night.

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