Regardless of two defeats, Stan Van Gundy has marveled on the Nets’ competitiveness within the first two video games towards the Celtics. He views the Nets roster as unexpectedly thrown collectively with out time to mix.
As such, despite the fact that he’s a giant fan of Ben Simmons, Van Gundy can’t picture the enigmatic 6-11 guard making a lot of a distinction.
Simmons is slated to make his long-anticipated season and Nets debut in Sport 4 Monday. However will Simmons flip into simply one other new physique thrown into an already chaotic combine?
Van Gundy, who referred to as Sport 2’s Nets loss and might be again for TNT’s broadcast of Monday’s Sport 4, stated Nets coach Steve Nash has been dealt a nasty hand for the playoffs. Down 0-2, the Nets return to Brooklyn for Saturday’s Sport 3.
‘I do know individuals have been vital of Steve Nash,’’ Van Gundy instructed The Publish. “I simply snigger. The expectations are ridiculous.’’
The win-the-title-now Nets have been pressured into dealing disgruntled James Harden at February’s commerce deadline to Philly, including Seth Curry and an injured Simmons, who hasn’t performed since June 2021.
“I’ve all the time been one among (Ben’s) greatest advocates — I like him,’’ Van Gundy stated. “He’s one among three, 4 guys within the league who actually can guard 1 by 5. He’s been among the best defensive gamers the prior couple of years. He can actually rebound. He may also help their transition sport and he’s a pass-first man who’s very inventive. However he hasn’t performed a single minute with any of those guys.
“He’s not plug-and-play sort man as a result of he’s not a shooter. It’s important to actually spend a while to get your station proper. Not a lot when he has the ball, however when he doesn’t have the ball. Is he enjoying with a middle the place do you set (Andre) Drummond or (Nic) Claxton on the ground? These issues are usually not that simple.”
Past rust and again points, no person is aware of if Simmons’s psychological block taking pictures the ball has disappeared the previous 11 months.
‘He’s obtained pick-and-roll sport with him as screener,’’ Van Gundy added. “However when are you going to develop that? On the fly throughout a sport in the midst of the playoffs towards a group like Boston?
The Celtics, Van Gundy, says, are a well-oiled machine, in comparison with the Nets’ cobbling collectively a rotation the previous two months – all a part of the domino impact from Kyrie Irving’s determination to go unvaccinated.
“What they’re making an attempt to perform is sort of unprecedented,’’ the longtime NBA coach stated. “They’re enjoying principally eight guys. 4 of the blokes of their rotation haven’t performed 30 video games with them. Curry, Drummond came to visit within the commerce. Kyrie couldn’t play (full-time) all yr. And Goran Dragic has hardly performed.
“They’re enjoying all these guys who’ve had no time with one another. And Boston’s a extremely good group, underestimated all yr. They’ve been by far – and it’s not shut – the perfect group within the East the second half of the yr.’’
Irving’s vaccination holdout led to him enjoying 29 video games. It prompted Harden to ask out and presumably wore down Durant, who’s struggling at 13 of 44 for the collection.
Van Gundy credit Boston’s “unimaginable protection’’ collapsing on KD. However he says, it’s evident that there isn’t sufficient on-court simpatico to get extra “motion’’ to run totally different units for the Corridor-of-Famer to make life simpler.
“No query that has been a giant a part of this season,’’ Van Gundy stated of Irving’s selections. “They haven’t had the continuity on the ground to develop nice chemistry. And I feel it does trigger gamers – rightly or wrongly – to query his dedication to the group. So belief deteriorates. It’s been a particularly troublesome state of affairs. However I believed they performed very well within the two video games.’’
“(Wednesday) was the toughest I’ve been them play 48 minutes all yr. So suppose it’s removed from over with them going residence.’’