Mikal Bridges name-drops Nets teammate after crushing loss to Celtics

Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) during the fourth
Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) during the fourth / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets were routed to oblivion on Wednesday night, as they were downed by their conference rival and current title-favorites, the Boston Celtics, by a final score of 136-86.

Finding themselves on the losing side in six of their last eight contests, it's safe to assume that the team's morale is as close to an all-time low as its ever been, as their latest drubbing seemingly saw zero bright spots attached to it what with the fact that only two players scored in double figures while the club as a whole shot a putrid 38.3 percent from the field.

However, following the contest, Nets centerpiece Mikal Bridges admitted that this team would have had a better chance of competing against the C's had they been at full strength, specifically highlighting the absence of Ben Simmons as a major blow to their on-court production.

Mikal Bridges name-drops Ben Simmons after crushing loss to Celtics

"We didn't have that effort. Whatever the game plan we had out there, I just think we didn't execute it as we should. But then again it's difficult... Offensively, it's tough, again, because a guy like Ben [Simmons] who plays and is not here today, it's a different dynamic when he has [the ball]. Nobody plays or guards Ben like anybody else on our team, unless it's a big and Ben has it a lot and even when we have Ben it's not really a super offense we're running. It's like, he gets it, goes, and we kind of play off him and guys back up so he can dribble and dribble hand off and stuff like that but we don't have him out here so we can't play like that. We can still play fast but [he] kind of gets us into sets and do stuff and I think we didn't have that tonight."

Mikal Bridges

Bridges would continue on to note that the team needs to focus on having a "with Ben and without Ben" game plan in place, as it's evident they operate differently with him running point as opposed to when he's relegated to the sidelines.

The wing would even go as far as to make an "extreme" comparrison to how things are with the Sixers, saying it's like "you got [Philadelphia] without Joel [Embiid] -- when he's not playing you don't play the same style," which, in a way, could be perceived as a slight jab at the coaching staff's inability to shake things up when Simmons is out of the rotation.

From the eye-test alone, the Nets offense was completely stagnant, as they were constantly found in isolation sets and trying to find a clean look late in the shot clock before, ultimately, being forced to hoist up a prayer.

Simmons may not be the perennial All-Star he was prior to coming to the borough, but he's still a talent who can help table-set and make plays for others which, at the moment, is something this team simply does not have within their arsenal.

Wednesday's loss marks their final game before the upcoming All-Star Weekend, a period that could serve as a much-needed break for the struggling Nets as they look to get healthy and ready for a Play-In Tournament push during their final 28 games of the season.