Report: Nets seem pretty fed up with Ben Simmons in Celtics series

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Remember when Ben Simmons was supposed to be the Brooklyn Nets' ace in the hole in their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics?

Instead, Simmons has yet to be found in this series (aside from dressing like the Joker on the sideline) and may not play a single minute if Boston can complete the sweep in Game 4 on Monday night.

The Nets ruled Simmons out for Game 4 in Brooklyn due to back soreness despite reports that he was on track to make his Nets debut Monday night. The 25-year-old hasn't played an NBA game since last June and hasn't taken the court with his new team since forcing a trade from Philadelphia to Brooklyn in February.

Keep an eye on these storylines as Celtics go for sweep vs. Nets

According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the team is nearing its wits' end with Simmons and his repeated setbacks.

"When I checked in on this (Sunday), basically what I got was exasperation," Windhorst said Monday morning on ESPN's "Get Up!"

"The people involved here are exasperated by this saga, because that is what it is. I got the feeling (Sunday) it was like waving a white flag."

Windhorst reported that Simmons actually did wake up with a sore back Sunday morning that led to the decision to hold him out for Game 4. But we can understand why the Nets might be fed up with their All-Star guard: Not only have Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had to log over 40 minutes per night just to keep Brooklyn in games, but the team also has had to answer a barrage of questions about Simmons' availability (or lack thereof).

You could detect a hint of resignation in head coach Steve Nash's voice Monday when he fielded the latest Simmons question.

"I mean, I wasn’t really expecting him to play," Nash told reporters, via SNY. "Like we’ve said all along, he’s trying to improve, he’s working through it. Reports that he was playing were from the outside, I don’t know where that came from."

Simmons has taken a beating in the court of public opinion, too: Former NBA star Reggie Miller was among the many who called Simmons out Sunday for sitting out Game 4, while ESPN's Stephen A. Smith piled on Monday morning.

"Ben Simmons might be the weakest, most pathetic excuse for a professional athlete we have ever seen in not just American history but the history of sports," Smith said.

That take might be a little extreme, but the Nets have to be disappointed (at the very least) that Simmons won't try to help them dig out of a 3-0 series hole against Boston.

Note: Games 4-6 of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series will be aired on NBC Sports Boston and can also be streamed on NBCSportsBoston.com or with the MyTeams App, which you can download below.

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