Ben Simmons ‘very hopeful’ to reappear in Game 4 with Nets against Celtics

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons is still making progress due to a back injury but likely won’t play in Game 3 on Saturday against the Boston Celtics, though he noted it was “reasonable” to think he would play in the Game 4 on Monday if he gets through the next two days of practice without a hitch and had “high hopes” of playing at some point in the series.

“It’s literally day to day,” Simmons said after Friday practice. “So I’ve had a lot of great days that have been great for me in the build. So we’re just trying to put those great days together and keep building to get back on the court and play at that high level… If I could play right now, I’d be on the court. So it is what it is.”

Simmons said he has had two or three days of practice under his belt and hopes to have at least one more on Saturday, but both Simmons and Nets coach Steve Nash aren’t sure exactly what kind of impact he will be able to have if he plays in this series.

“We’ll find out,” Simmons said. “It’s a good challenge, but I’m looking forward to it. Especially playing with these guys. I think for me, my IQ is too high to play with guys like Ky [Irving] and seth [Curry] and Kev [Durant] Just watching them, I know how they play, I know how they want to play. And for me, just putting them in their places and being a floor general, it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it.”

Simmons hasn’t played for the Nets since he was acquired just before the February trade deadline from the Philadelphia 76ers. He has missed more than two months due to a herniated disc in his back and hasn’t played since June 20, 2021, during a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He requested a trade out of Philadelphia over the summer, citing mental health issues.

Asked specifically what Simmons should be expected to contribute if he plays, given how much time he’s missed, Nash was honest in his assessment.

“I don’t know,” Nash said. “I can’t answer that. Does anyone here have the answer? We’d love for Ben to play and try to play, but only when he’s ready. And if he’s not, he’s not. So we’re not in here just counting down the minutes until We want Ben to come back. We want Ben to play when he’s ready to play and wants to make an impact.”

Simmons demurred when asked if he would still try to return if the Nets lose Game 3 and fall 0-3 to the Celtics, not wanting to talk about “if.”

Simmons noted that while he is still strengthening his back, he has also had to strengthen his legs again.

“When you have an injury like this, your whole leg is affected,” Simmons said. “So it’s going to take time to loosen up these muscles and get back on the court, but it’s a day to day. It’s treatment every day, pilates, workouts and just keeping up.”

Simmons said it would be up to Nash and the rest of the coaching staff how many minutes he could play, but was optimistic he could fit in well with a team he has yet to play a minute for.

“I’ll fit in,” Simmons said. “I’m not worried about that.”


The article is in Spanish

Tags: Ben Simmons hopeful reappear Game Nets Celtics

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