Ben Simmons may play for Nets against Celtics in NBA playoffs

Ben Simmons may play for Nets against Celtics in NBA playoffs

Ben Simmons and his dangerous again are in a race in opposition to time, hoping to get on the court docket earlier than the Nets run out of season.

“If [Simmons plays], we cross that bridge once we get there,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum stated Wednesday as Boston ready to host the Nets within the opener of their first-round playoff collection on Sunday. “However proper now we’re simply specializing in the blokes that they’ve bought at this second.”

Nets coach Steve Nash would neither affirm nor refute a report by The Athletic that Simmons would possibly make his season debut as early as Sport 3 of the first-round collection. However Nash did verify that the injured All-Star, who’s affected by a herniated L-4 disk, has made progress, and that his enchancment is accelerating.

“I don’t know [about Game 3]. I don’t know the place these studies come from. Now we have no replace on the timetable so I don’t assume that got here from us,” stated Nash, who did acknowledge Simmons has improved since getting an epidural injection whereas the Nets have been enjoying at Orlando on March 15. “Yeah, I’d say heavier progress within the final week than the primary three weeks or so after that.

Ben Simmons sits on the Nets’ bench throughout their play-in sport in opposition to the Cavaliers on Tuesday.EPA

“He’s transferring extra, he’s capturing, he’s beginning to transfer somewhat bit on the court docket in a one-on-zero surroundings. So positively constructive indicators that it’s enhancing and transferring and all these issues. However like I stated he hasn’t been working full velocity or enjoying in opposition to anyone, so nonetheless much more markers to fulfill.”

Simmons has been at this stage earlier than. He was within the midst of a ramp-up to play when he suffered a setback in some unspecified time in the future between Feb. 26 and March 3.

After orthopedic consultants instructed The Publish that Simmons doubtless would require an epidural, he bought simply such an injection. And on April 7 a league supply stated it was paying dividends, albeit admitting time was rising brief.

“It appears to be like like he’s doing somewhat bit higher,” the supply instructed The Publish. “It’s only a timing factor. The issue is the season is working out. However he’s doing [more]. He’s beginning to perform a little bit extra motion, AlterG, stuff like that. So … we’ve bought to be affected person with it. I don’t assume he’ll want a process, however you’ve simply bought to be affected person with it.”

The Nets’ play-in win over Cleveland on Tuesday earned them a postseason berth. Sport 3 in opposition to the Celtics received’t be till April 23, and if the collection goes the gap, Sport 7 wouldn’t be till Might 1.

“It’ll be laborious to emulate [Simmons] being with Brooklyn as a result of we haven’t seen him used with them,” stated Boston head coach Ime Udoka, who was a 76ers assistant in 2019-20 when Simmons was with Philadelphia. “Clearly I coached him two years in the past and a variety of guys have performed with or in opposition to him, so we all know what he’s. Clearly being off for a yr there’s going to be some rust, and a few unpredictability so far as how they’ll implement him with their crew.

“However we all know his sport, we is aware of what he does, and except one thing’s occurred the final yr, we all know find out how to assault him and manipulate sure issues so far as that. Nevertheless it’s powerful as a result of he hasn’t performed with that crew, so who is aware of how [he’ll] be used with him.”

About Muji Sakawari

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