Steve Nash safe in Brooklyn?

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One source close to the situation told me over the weekend that he thinks Nash is likely to avoid being rendered management’s fall guy for the Nets’ meek playoff showing, noting how much madness (and, frankly, absurdity) that the former Hall of Fame point guard faced during his second season as a head coach.
Source: Marc Stein @ marcstein.substack.com

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
Simmons saga just gets more confusing as Nash says he never expected Simmons to play in Game 4
Nash said he is not disappointed in Simmons, whose back injury has prevented him from playing. newsday.com/sports/basketb…1:35 PM

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine
The Nets’ future after their massive underachievement, Steve Nash’s job security, hints from weekend media coverage … PLUS more on John Wall and the usual feast of around-the-league intel … ALL here now via the latest This Week In Basketball column: marcstein.substack.com/p/whats-next-f…1:30 PM

Ian Begley @IanBegley
Steve Nash says he of course would love to have Ben Simmons on the floor but adds that he isn’t disappointed with Simmons in any way. “His back is his back. We’ve got to work through this.” pic.twitter.com/xuEG9QT8G811:13 AM

Brian Geltzeiler @BGeltzNBA
So here’s a snippet from @Sam Amick piece in @The Athletic comparing what the Celtics are doing to Durant off the ball to “90s playoff basketball”. Why is Nash not making this kind of physicality a public issue. Monty has CP3’s back. Jenkins has Ja’s back. Why not Nash? pic.twitter.com/4KW0KnuUWX11:09 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Steve Nash on Simmons being out for Game 4: “I mean, I wasn’t really expecting him to play. Like we’ve said all along, he’s trying to improve, he’s working through it. Reports that he was playing were from the outside, I don’t know where that came from.” #Nets10:58 AM

Barbara Barker @meanbarb
“I wasn’t even expecting him to play” Nash says of Simmons. pic.twitter.com/8cpnY6Ng2810:38 AM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Nash on Simmons: “I wasn’t really expecting him to play [in Game 4].” Nash reiterated that Simmons will play whenever he is ready. He also said that as of now Simmons isn’t getting another MRI on his back. – 10:37 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Nash said Ben Simmons is not slated to have another MRI. #nets10:35 AM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Nash said Simmons will continue to get treatment today. He’s not sure if training staff will clear him to get a workout in. Nash also isn’t sure if Simmons would be able to play in Game 5 if Nets get there. – 10:33 AM

Brian Lewis @NYPost_Lewis
Steve Nash said the #Nets don’t feel Ben Simmons’ sore back and being ruled out of Game 4 will increase the likelihood of him needing surgery this summer. Havent ruled out the chances of him playing this series if they can win tonight and extend it. – 10:32 AM

Ian Begley @IanBegley
Nets coach Steve Nash on Ben Simmons’ absence for Game 4: “I wasn’t really expecting him to play…He’s still building himself up.” BKN performance staff will evaluate Simmons today; that evaluation will determine whether he can participate in further on-court activities, per Nash – 10:30 AM

Vincent Goodwill @VinceGoodwill
Steve Nash on Ben Simmons: “I wasn’t really expecting him to play.” – 10:25 AM

Sean Grande @SeanGrandePBP
Steve Nash Sunday was talking about fatigue, and specifically Kevin Durant’s workload since coming back.
Made me wonder about the NBA leaders in minutes played over the last month (Regular Season/Play-in/Playoff).
Go figure.
(Durant’s gone over 40 minutes in 9 of his last 10.) pic.twitter.com/281qCP3xeo2:04 AM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Kyrie said after Game 3 that the he wished the Nets had more time to jell throughout the year. Steve Nash said Sunday that he doesn’t wonder what might have been if Kyrie had gotten the vaccine and been available from the start of the season. espn.com/nba/story/_/id…6:08 PM

J. Michael Falgoust @ThisIsJMichael
I said this after Game 1, but Nash should STOP allowing Claxton to match up with Tatum on these switches. Has to blitz the ball out of Tatum’s hands. He’s gotta be shooting at least 98% v Claxton🤦🏽‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/7rCEb4p6Ch4:47 PM

More on this storyline

Not that Nash should dodge blame. The Nets’ iso-heavy offense has been repeatedly rapped as unimaginative, with rival scouts critical of both the limited spacing it generates for Durant and Irving and Brooklyn’s level of in-game adjustments in response to Boston’s defensive swarms. One trusted scout I spoke to took issue in particular with what he described as Nash’s reliance on a “let them play through it” mentality. -via marcstein.substack.com / April 25, 2022

Nets officials clearly underestimated how much vital brainpower surrounding Nash moved on in the offseason. The Nets didn’t just lose offensive coordinator Mike D’Antoni; Ime Udoka ran the defense and has merely submitted one of this season’s finest coaching jobs as a rookie head coach in Boston. -via marcstein.substack.com / April 25, 2022

But it isn’t a reflection on Nash’s performance. Just ask Kevin Durant. “I think he’s done a great job. The last two years, he’s been dealt a wild hand,” Durant said last week. “Injuries, trades, disgruntled players, guys in and out of the lineup, stuff that he can’t control. I felt like he’s handled it as best he could (and) I think it’s on us as players to make his job easier. “…. This is his first real opportunity as a coach so I think he’s handled it all perfectly to be honest with you. It’s a tough hand he was dealt when he got here.” -via SportsNet New York / April 13, 2022