After the main target leaves the star who will probably be again, it is going to flip to a different star’s again.
Though the Nets will see Kevin Durant play for the primary time in a month and a half on Thursday, they nonetheless don’t know when Ben Simmons will observe him onto the court docket.
Thursday marks three weeks because the Nets traded for Philadelphia’s hold-out, and Simmons has but to take part totally in follow. He cited mental-health issues for staying away from the 76ers, however what Steve Nash has termed “back soreness” has been the most recent concern in Brooklyn.
The Nets formally are itemizing Simmons as unable to play as a result of he’s “reconditioning,” having not performed in an NBA recreation in almost 9 months. His again has slowed the method.
“Ben is still working through a number of things,” Nash had mentioned Monday earlier than coming into COVID protocol later that day. At the time, Nash didn’t provide a timeline past saying Simmons wouldn’t play this week.
ESPN reported Wednesday, throughout an off-day for the Nets, that Simmons is “week to week” and won’t even debut this month. He has not participated in five-on-five scrimmages but, which is usually a final hurdle to clear earlier than returning to motion.
Simmons has been seen on the follow court docket with the Nets, working with assistant Kyle Korver, one of many best 3-point shooters ever. But in a season of tantalization and frustration, Simmons’ capturing type and conditioning haven’t been on show to date.
The Nets play in Philadelphia subsequent Thursday in a extremely anticipated face-off with James Harden and Joel Embiid, a recreation Simmons, upon arriving in Brooklyn, mentioned he hoped he can be prepared for.
The odds aren’t on his facet.
After the Harden-Simmons blockbuster, the Nets reduce DeAndre’ Bembry, primarily selecting the extra offensively oriented Bruce Brown over Bembry, who wound up with the Bucks.
A number of weeks later, Brown has made the choice look sturdy.
While the Nets have needed to rely an excessive amount of upon their 6-foot-4 swingman, who has began all eight video games they’ve performed since dropping Bembry, Brown has performed his greatest basketball of the season.
In the stretch, the 25-year-old is averaging 12.8 factors on 49 p.c capturing — together with 47 p.c from past the arc — together with six rebounds and a couple of.6 assists.
“I think his physicality and his ability to compete on a nightly basis we’ve kind of leaned on,” performing head coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned Tuesday.
Perhaps the contributions are forgotten if and when the group is totally wholesome, however Brown has a robust case for a second-unit spot if Brooklyn is beginning Durant, Kyrie Irving, Simmons, Andre Drummond and Seth Curry.
There was no replace from the Nets concerning Nash, who has been in well being and security protocols since Monday. The head coach would wish to file two unfavourable COVID-19 checks in a 24-hour interval to rejoin the group.