For the Sixers, it’s been a huge success as they have been rolling with Harden in the lineup, despite the departures of both Andre Drummond and Seth Curry. On the Nets side of things, Simmons hasn’t appeared in a game yet but Durant is back from injury and the two new additions have fit in quite nicely.
The March 10 matchup takes place in Philadelphia, so that means Kyrie Irving will be available for the Nets and it’s the closest thing to a full-strength matchup that fans will see until Simmons joins the team.
Simmons’s departure was long-expected, but not all of his former teammates have an issue with the way things were handled. In the case of Tyrese Maxey, he’s just happy Simmons found a landing spot.
Maxey Speaks Out
When asked if Maxey has talked to Simmons since he left, he confirmed that he hasn’t said a whole lot, but there are no hard feelings.
“No, I haven’t talked much to him,” Maxey said via NBC Sports. “I’m sure I’ll talk to him tomorrow. I’m just happy he’s happy. … I talked to the agency and everybody else around and as long as he’s happy, I’m happy as a brother, as a friend. When I first moved to L.A. and I signed to Klutch and did all those different things, Ben was one of the first people I met.”
Maxey also says Simmons worked with him a lot during his rookie season and helped him develop into the play he is now.
“He’s a great dude, great person,” he continued. “I really appreciate him. He took me under his wing, tried to help me as much as he possibly could and treated me like a brother. So I have nothing but love for him.”
With the departure of Simmons and arrival of Harden, Maxey has become the third option for the team, and he has been looking very good in the role. Even without Harden, he was essentially the second option, and he looked good doing it.
Now that he has a more comfortable role, his efficiency can improve, and it was already looking good before the star guard came to town.
What Does the Game Mean?
While there is a lot of fanfare surrounding this game, it doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things as it’s simply a regular season game.
It could mean a lot more for the Nets considering they are the 8th seed and they’ll want to find a way to avoid being in the play-in tournament if they can.
Durant’s return from injury will definitely be a factor in their rise, but they’ll also want to see Simmons join the lineup at some point. With the regular season quickly winding down, the time for him to join the team is rapidly running out.