Nets coach Steve Nash said before the team’s season opener against the Pelicans that he wanted Ben Simmons to be Brooklyn’s “engine” on both sides of the ball.
But that engine spluttered in a bad way on Thursday and did not even last the full game, with Simmons fouling out less than one minute into the fourth quarter.
It left teammate Kyrie Irving sharing a simple message with the Australian in the locker room.
“He’s a valuable piece for us and we need him out there, and fouling out is not an option,” Irving said.
“Playing aggressive is something we want him to do, but we also want to play smart.”
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Simmons fouls out in first Nets game | 01:00
That is a constant balancing act that Simmons will…