Alex Schiffer: Asked Steve Nash how he sees the playoff rotation if Simmons plays. Said he could see it reaching nine deep. Asked if Blake Griffin played himself into more minutes, Nash said the staff has discussed using Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge tomorrow among other options.
Game 4 on Monday may be Nets’ last of the season. It could also be Ben Simmons’ first. Nets coach Steve Nash was non-committal about Simmons being able to suit up Monday against the Celtics, but the young All-Star went through a third high-intensity contact workout on Saturday and seems on course for Game 4. That game will be do-or-die after the Nets lost Game 3 to the Celtics 109-103 at Barclays Center. “I think it’s possible [for Simmons to play]. But I’m not sure,” Nash said. “It’s not a normal return to play being out nine months and being injured as long as he has been. At the back end of this, it’s been about two months or more.
“It’s not just he got through three workouts and he’s ready to play. There’s a bigger picture, bigger context to how he’s feeling, and how he’d be able to adapt to the environment. There are a few factors that play here to evaluate when he’s ready to play.” Blake Griffin made his first appearance since April 2. He had eight points, one rebound and hit 2-for-3 from deep. “We all just need to take a look in the mirror and watch the tape and be real with ourselves and ask ourselves what we can do to be better, because it’s top to bottom,” Griffin said.
Nick Friedell: Nash said Simmons didn’t do any scrimmaging on Friday. He said he’s on track to get some 4-on-4 work in later today.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Barring a setback, Brooklyn's Ben Simmons plans to play in Game 4 on Monday vs. the Boston Celtics, sources tell ESPN.
Shams Charania: Brooklyn Nets three-time All-Star Ben Simmons plans to make his season debut in Game 4 vs. Boston on Monday as long as rehab remains on course, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Simmons is set to play his first game since June 2021.
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash on Woj's report that Ben Simmons is targeting Game 4: "That's news to me. I don't think we're targeting any game. ... We haven't penciled in anything or made any conclusions yet. I think he's got a long way to go."
Nick Friedell: Nic Claxton on Ben Simmons: “He’s coming along pretty good. He definite has a real good swagger about himself right now so I think the whole world really like to see him back out there and he would definitely help us out in a lot of ways.”
Alex Schiffer: Nets status report for tomorrow’s Game 2 remains just Joe Harris and Ben Simmons listed as out. Everyone else is a go.
Nick Friedell: Steve Nash says Ben Simmons has been cleared for contact. He got some 4-on-4 work in yesterday. Nash said he came through it well.
The Nets will tip off their first-round playoff series in Boston on Sunday. Is there a chance of Simmons playing versus the Celtics? Game 4 won’t be until April 25 at Barclays Center, a day or two later than every other series’ Game 4. The source close to Simmons said that extra time would be a big help in the All-Star’s race against time to return from a herniated L-4 disk. “The NBA did us a huge favor,” the source told The Post. “There’s like 10 days in there [to recover].”
Ben Simmons still hasn’t been cleared for 1-on-1 workouts, but after being able to shoot, run lightly and even dunk in recent days, a source close to the rehabbing Nets star said that full contact is indeed the next step in his winding return to the court. “There’s nothing new there. The next step is to get him cleared for 1-on-1 stuff, see him bang to see how the back holds up,” a source close to Simmons told The Post.
When reporters walked into practice Saturday at HSS Training Center, Simmons seemed to be in good spirits. He playfully told the media “Make sure you get this,” proceeded to dunk and said, “There you go,” before leaving the court.
Brian Lewis: Ben Simmons still has yet to get cleared for contact work. A source close to Simmons: "There’s nothing new there...The next step is to get him cleared for one-on-one stuff, see him bang to see how the back holds up.” #Nets
Jake Fischer: Sources: There’s growing optimism that Ben Simmons could make his Nets and season debut as early as Game 3 against Boston, at Barclays Center next Saturday.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN Sources: After running and shooting pain-free for over a week, the Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons is expected to take the next step on the court in the coming week: Beginning to go against teammates on the practice floor. So far, his workouts have been limited to 1-on-0, but that’s about to change. Hope remains Simmons could make his debut later in the Nets-Celtics series.
Kristian Winfield: Asked if Ben Simmons has been able to do anything more in practice today, Steve Nash said: “He hasn’t been able to do anything yet, so no.” #NetsWorld
However, on Thursday, it was reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania that Simmons is hoping to play by Game 4 to Game 6, if needed, of the Celtics series. Ben Simmons hasn’t played in a professional basketball game since June 20, 2021. He’s remained out during the entire 2022 season due to a recurring back injury and mental health concerns. On the other hand, Nets teammate Kevin Durant does not think Simmons will be ready to play during the Celtics series. “Nah, I’m not expecting him to play,” Durant said, via SNY. “I’m not putting any pressure on Ben to come out there and hoop. I’m not expecting him to do anything but get his body right and get healthy as fast as he can. In my mind, I’m preparing as if we’re playing with the team we have.”
Shams Charania: Sources: Nets three-time All-Star Ben Simmons is targeting a return within Games 4-6 (April 25-29) of first-round series vs. Celtics.
An unsourced report circulated on Wednesday that Simmons could be ready by game three of the Boston series, but coach Steve Nash said the three-time All-Star had yet to progress into contested drills. “I don’t know where these reports come from, I have no update on the timetable – I don’t think that came from us,” Nash told US media.
After orthopedic experts told The Post that Simmons likely would require an epidural, he got just such an injection. And on April 7 a league source said it was paying dividends, albeit admitting time was growing short. “It looks like he’s doing a little bit better,” the source told The Post. “It’s just a timing thing. The problem is the season is running out. But he’s doing [more]. He’s starting to do a little bit more movement, AlterG, stuff like that. So … we’ve got to be patient with it. I don’t think he’ll need a procedure, but you’ve just got to be patient with it.”
After orthopedic experts told The Post that Ben Simmons likely would require an epidural, he got just such an injection. And on April 7 a league source said it was paying dividends, albeit admitting time was growing short. “It looks like he’s doing a little bit better,” the source told The Post. “It’s just a timing thing. The problem is the season is running out. But he’s doing [more]. He’s starting to do a little bit more movement, AlterG, stuff like that. So … we’ve got to be patient with it. I don’t think he’ll need a procedure, but you’ve just got to be patient with it.”
Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson: Nets players have been challenging Ben Simmons in practice sources tell @BallySports . One Nets player told Simmons in practice yesterday: “Make something happen in your life.” There has been no change in Simmons’ return timetable other than possibly later in playoffs.
Brandon 'Scoop B' Robinson: One Nets fixture believes that Ben Simmons can play in later rounds and tells @BallySports that Simmons’ swag is at an all-time high right now. “He walks around like he’s Jordan.”
Nick Friedell: Nash on Simmons: “There’s no timetable for his return right now. He’s clearly got some markers to hit.” For what it’s worth, Nash says that Simmons hasn’t started running or doing any conditioning yet.
Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons' pain-free progress is fueling hope that he could return in the first-round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, even if it's just in a 10-15 minute a game role, sources told ESPN on Sunday. The Nets would need to advance out of the Play-in Tournament this week and, given continued progress with his back, the hope would be that Simmons could possibly be cleared to play later in a first-round playoff series.
Shams Charania: Sources: There’a optimism Nets star Ben Simmons could make debut during first round of the NBA playoffs as long as his progression continues in strengthening his legs and back. Simmons has been ramping up his workload and is expected to continue doing so.
After having been ruled out for the play-in tournament earlier this week, time is running out for Ben Simmons to return to action for the Nets, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Sports+ link). Simmons is suffering from a herniated L-4 disc in his lower spine and received an epidural last month to treat the injury. He’s starting to feel better, and there’s hope he’ll avoid surgery, but it appears increasing unlikely he’ll be able to return for the playoffs. “It looks like he’s doing a little bit better,” a league source told Lewis. “You know, it’s just a timing thing. The problem is the season is running out. But he’s doing [more]. He’s starting to do a little bit more movement, AlterG (an anti-gravity treadmill), stuff like that. So … we’ve got to be patient with it. I don’t think he’ll need a procedure, though. But you’ve just got to be patient with it.”
Although, speaking on ESPN’s ‘NBA Today’, league insider Ramona Shelburne said should Simmons be fit for the playoffs, she believes the Nets will have no hesitation in having him play.
Alex Schiffer: Steve Nash says Ben Simmons is doing some light shooting on the court. "But nothing dynamic." Adds Simmons isn't moving around a lot, but he's here in Atlanta.
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has resumed light training and the hope is he will return in time for the NBA Playoffs, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania
When asked what the rehabbing Ben Simmons looks like in Nets practice, Drummond said: “Good, good. He’s moving around a little bit more. He looks good, he looks happy.” But what exactly is Simmons doing in practice? “In terms of what he’s doing, none of us know,” Drummond continued. “He’s the mystery guy. He comes in in sweats every day, and then God knows what he does after that. So hopefully he’s doing this recovery and he’s getting better each and every day. When we get him back, we get him back.”
Dave Early: Steve Nash says Ben Simmons hasn’t made any new progress in terms of ramp up. Said there wasn’t a new MRI.
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash says Ben Simmons has yet to resume individual workouts. Nash says he has no clarity on what the next steps are in Simmons’ rehab.
Brian Lewis: To be clear, Ben Simmons did NOT go through a full practice with the Brooklyn. But this is the first time his back had improved enough that they were comfortable putting him on the flight since Feb. 26 in Milwaukee. Baby steps. #Nets
Brian Lewis: Steve Nash said Ben Simmons has made progress and “is feeling a lot less pain.” #nets #nba
￼ Pat McAfee: “Ben Simmons is exactly what the Nets are missing right now.. there is an expectation that he will play this year" ~ @ShamsCharania #PMSLive
Nets coach Steve Nash remains optimistic, but Simmons hasn't been able to do anything on the floor in weeks. The Nets have played some of their best basketball of the season recently, winning six of their past seven games behind the power of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Nets players and coaches continue to say that Simmons is in good spirits.
Nick Friedell: Nash said he would be comfortable putting Ben Simmons into a playoff game — even if it meant that he hadn’t played at all during the regular season. Nash made it clear it may not be in a starting role — but the Nets will take whatever they can get at this point.
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has a herniated disk in his back, coach Steve Nash said prior to Monday night's 114-106 win against the Utah Jazz. Nash remains optimistic that Simmons will play at some point this season, but with just 11 regular-season games left, the organization is running out of time for the former All-Star to make his season debut. Simmons had an epidural last week to alleviate some pressure in his back. "He's had this a couple years ago, so he's had [herniated disks] throughout his career at some points," Nash said. "And I guess there was a flare-up. I'm not sure when they recognized it was beyond a back flare-up and a herniated disk or what not, but somewhere along the line there, that was the reason for the epidural."
Nick Friedell: Nash says Simmons has a herniated disc in his back. Nash is still optimistic that Simmons plays at some point this year — but the Nets are running out of time.
"He's doing good," Durant said of Simmons. "He looks good as far as just walking around and being around the team. Haven't seen him do anything on the basketball court as much, but a couple walk-through things. But I think his spirits are in the right place and he's excited to be a part of the group and looking forward to having him out on the floor -- I definitely don't want him to rush back for us and his back is not right, so take all the time he needs to get his body right and once he's out there we're ready to rock and roll."
Nick Friedell: A couple follow ups from Nash: Ben Simmons isn't able to do anything right now. Simmons did a couple individual workouts in the beginning and hasn't been able to do anything since. Nash says he doesn't remember if Simmons was showing back issues or not during initial workouts.
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash responds “yeah” when asked if Ben Simmons has “a strain or something like that” in his back. Simmons underwent an MRI, and when asked if the MRI came back clean, he said “what does clean mean?” Nash appears to be in the dark about Simmons’ recovery progress.
Adrian Wojnarowski: ESPN reporting with @RamonaShelburne: Brooklyn Nets All-Star Ben Simmons has remained sidelined with an irritation of the L-4 disc of the lower spine and hope remains he can return for a “couple” of regular-season games prior to the Eastern Conference playoffs. Story soon.
Asked how hopeful he was that Simmons will suit up in the regular season, Nash replied, “Extremely high hopes we see him in the regular season.” With just 13 games left in the regular season, Simmons hasn’t even be cleared to run and sprint, much less to practice. His back is enough of an issue that the Nets didn’t have him travel on their last road trip to Boston and Charlotte, and he didn’t accompany them here, just to spare him the flights.
Dave Early: Steve Nash says the decision to keep Ben Simmons home was back-related in the prior games. But this game was a drive away.
Marc Stein: The Nets just officially ruled out Ben Simmons for Tuesday’s trip to Charlotte, with the formal scratch for Thursday in Philadelphia to come. The Cavs, meanwhile, say there is no timetable for Jarrett Allen’s return from a left quad contusion and fractured left middle finger.
Bleacher Report: There's "no chance" Ben Simmons plays in the Nets-76ers matchup on March 10, per @wojespn.
Marks told YES Network that there is “no real timetable” for the 25-year-old to play before noting he remains day-by-day. Ben Simmons is expected to be re-evaluated in the next week.
“Unfortunately, his back stiffness has delayed his ability to get on the court with his teammates so he’s been rehabbing this last, sort of, week to 10 days and then now, he’ll progress throughout this week with some individual workouts,” Marks said. “Hopefully, by the end of next week, he’s getting more into the team environment and then we can really ramp up and start him getting into game shape and so forth.”
Kristian Winfield: Ramona Shelburne says Ben Simmons “had a little setback with the back injury.” Woj on Simmons playing in Philly on March 10: “It’s not happening.”
Rich Paul, the agent for new Nets addition Ben Simmons, told Brian Windhorst of ESPN (video link) that Simmons should be thought of “week-to-week” with back soreness as he works his way into game shape ahead of his 2021/22 season debut. Windhorst noted that he was skeptical of whether Simmons would even be ready at any point in March for Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons suffered a setback in his attempted return to the court, but there is reportedly "hope and optimism" he will return before the end of the regular season, The Athletic's Shams Charania said Monday on The Pat McAfee Show (around the 2:30 mark): "He had a flare-up with his back, I'm told, during his ramp-up process and so now he's going to need to strengthen that back area before he can make his return to the floor," Charania explained (around the 1:50 mark).
Kristian Winfield: Steve Nash categorizes Ben Simmons' back issue as "just a little soreness." #Nets
Ian Begley: Ben Simmons says he spoke to several members of Sixers organization, including Elton Brand and Tobias Harris, toward end of his PHI tenure. When asked about it, Simmons said he hadn’t spoken to Joel Embiid.
It almost goes without saying that bridge-building would need to be done between Simmons and Doc Rivers. The head coach tried to walk back the despair he showed after Game 7 during exit interviews the very next day, and his defenses of Simmons far outnumber his one high-profile shoulder shrug. Even still, getting the two to connect during the offseason has been close to impossible, sources say. Ultimately, this is in Simmons' hands. Rivers would tell you himself that he regrets letting his guard down during Simmons' lowest moment as a professional. Some missteps are just harder to come back from than others.
Kyle Neubeck: Simmons update from Rivers: "Ben looked good today in shootaround, looked good yesterday as well." Says he thinks he's "close"
Keith Pompey: The expectation is that Ben Simmons will play tonight.
Brandon Rahbar: Lu Dort is out tonight vs the 76ers. Tony Bradley is questionable with a left ankle sprain. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Danny Green and Tobias Harris all questionable for Philly. 76ers injury report out here looking like they’re trying to Fade4Cade.
Noah Levick: Ben Simmons (illness) is out tonight, Doc Rivers says tonight. Joel Embiid will play. Rivers says he's counting on Tobias Harris and Seth Curry being available.
November 27, 2022 | 12:18 pm EST Update
What if Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant had played for the UConn Huskies in his one-and-done college season? Former UConn coach Jim Calhoun said Durant told his friend Rudy Gay, who starred at UConn, he was coming to UConn for the 2006-07 season before he ultimately landed at Texas where he averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists and then became the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.