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Healthy Nets are championship or bust, Steve Nash's job depends on it

Injuries were a major part of why the Brooklyn Nets watched the NBA finals from their comfy sofas at home instead of challenging the Phoenix Suns for league supremacy this past July.

The other part of the equation that led to the Nets going home early was the simple fact that Mike Budenholzer maneuvered and made the proper adjustments to pull his club out of a 2-0 series hole and then an eventual 3-2 deficit.

The Bucks head man, who was rewarded with a lucrative extension this off-season, put to bed the narrative that his playoff coaching was subpar.

If there was a coach whose decisions  left a lot to ponder, that man was sitting on Brooklyn's coaching sidelines, Steve Nash. 

The first year coach looked exactly the part, reticent to trust the bench that spurred the team to 48 regular season wins without the Big Three healthy for the majority of the season.

Shortening rotations in the playoffs in nothing new, but Nash's refusal to dig deep in his bag with the team struggling to find offense outside of Kevin Durant and with Joe Harris misfiring from the outside is still a head scratcher.

Jeff Green was invaluable in Game 5 to help lift the Nets to within one game of the conference finals, but Bruce Brown's minutes shrunk, DeAndre Jordan remained inactive and Nicholas Claxton and Landry Shamet were used sparingly.

Durant was brilliant, but Nash's offense consisted of giving No. 7 the ball and getting the heck out of the way.  Without Kyrie Irving and a hobbled James Harden, the same Nets team that earned the distinction as the most efficient offense in NBA history, didn't resemble anything close to that against Milwaukee.

Sometimes you have to give a tip of the cap to your competition for locking down defensively, but Nash and former assistant Mike D'Antoni didn't do the team any favors by allowing the offense to go full hero ball.

Nash's coaching staff has been rebuilt with Ime Udoka being hired by the Celtics, D'Antoni leaving the organization, and David Vanderpool along with Steve Clifford coming into the fold. 

The reality is, if coaching is a factor for why the Nets come up short this upcoming season, Nash won't be able to survive another playoff exit.


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