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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the first quarter of Round 1 Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs at TD Garden on April 17, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A few days ago, the sourced-up NBA knowers spoke as one, prophesying that Ben Simmons would return to the court for Game 4 of his team's now-futile series against the Celtics. Yes, that would have meant that his two most recent appearances might have come in games in which his team was bounced from the playoffs, but it was to be a nice milestone for Simmons on his way back to being a full-time player. Well! About that!

His back hurts.

In fairness, the Nets' situation is certainly beyond the rustiest man in the NBA's capacity to save, but also, man, a championship contender also traded James Harden for him and is currently getting worked in the first round of the playoffs. Simmons got raked over the coals by former players and TV yellers alike, to the point that we must consider the possibility that he's a Machiavellian operator who is sacrificing himself so people stop asking how it is possible that Kevin Durant has 19 made shots and 17 turnovers.

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