BOSTON — Ben Simmons will not be on the floor for the Nets Wednesday night in Game 2, but his debut with the team could be inching closer.
Nets coach Steve Nash said that Simmons participated in a 4-on-4 scrimmage Monday, practicing with contact for the first time. He then joined the team for 5-on-0 work to run through the playbook Tuesday.
“Yesterday was his first day of contact, played with some teammates yesterday,” Nash said. “He's making progress, but there's no real update. We'll just see how he responds and see if he's able to do more contact tomorrow.”
So is Game 3 in Brooklyn Saturday night a possibility with an off day Thursday and practice Friday?
“I wouldn’t be able to say anything about that because I’m not even sure how he’s going to get through these weeks,” Nash said. “We have to also consider it’s a nine-month absence or whatever it is, so it’s not like he’s just had a six-week absence. I think this is a pretty unique scenario. It’s not as linear as the other in-season injuries.
“ . . . It’s really trying to put him in an environment where he can start to build up, see if he can take contact, see if he can run the floor, make cuts, rebound, defend. All those things he’s got to have time on the floor to do to see if he can physically adapt, and that process is just beginning.”