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Nets coach Steve Nash: ‘Extremely high hopes’ Ben Simmons plays in regular season

Ben Simmons at Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 10: Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up prior to the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 10, 2022 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

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The Nets hoped Ben Simmons would hit the floor with his teammates after they returned from Philadelphia on Thursday then actually play this month.

Where does his progress stand?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Steve Nash said after the shootaround Tuesday that he has “extremely high hopes that we’ll see him in the regular season.”

“He’s just doing his rehab, strengthening,” Nash said. “We’re still doing that side of things rather than court work right now.”

Simmons, who’s been dealing with a back issue, has been limited to individual work. Whatever confidence Nash is projecting, neither the
coach nor Nets nor organization are reliable. Simmons’ lack of apparent progress seems more telling – and is not encouraging.

Reminder: The Nets – in the midst of trying to win a championship with Kevin Durant and at least a part-time Kyrie Irving – traded a star for someone who, for whatever reasons, hasn’t played all season. James Harden obviously tried to force Brooklyn’s hand. But betting on Simmons was a choice.

There’s still time for it to pay off, but for this season, the clock is ticking.