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Healthy Simmons, full-time Irving only a pipe dream for Nets

Mar 12, 2022 0 comments

 


With only 15 games remaining in the regular season, the Brooklyn Nets are hopeful a heck of a lot will come together in a short period of time.

Kyrie Irving is only eligible for four more games, assuming there are no changes to New York City's workplace vaccine mandate, and Ben Simmons has yet to practice fully. Irving is almost certainly not willing to take the vaccine and Simmons has been working with the training staff to nurse his aching back.

Simmons needs to clear several hurdles before he can even consider returning to the NBA court. The Nets' newly acquired point guard will need to progress from light court work, to 1-on-1 drills, then 3-on-3, followed by full 5-on-5 practices.

Simmons is merely at the first stage of a four phase process with the regular season window shrinking fast.

Granted, if Simmons and Irving take the floor together on a full-time basis, this will put the rest of the league on notice. Yet, if you've followed the Nets closely over the last few years, many of those 'what if scenarios' relating to the health and availability of the team's stars often doesn't come to fruition.

A lot can change in a week, but the stars will need to align from a health and COVID-19 protocol standpoint for Brooklyn to enter the playoffs fully loaded.

Even if the pieces fall into place to make that happen, the Nets are currently slated to travel to Toronto for a seven versus eight seed play-in game, in a city where Irving will not be eligible regardless of NYC loosen its restrictions.

Should the Nets survive that scenario by either beating Toronto or winning the do or die game to secure the eighth seed, a team like Milwaukee or Philadelphia could be well rested awaiting Brooklyn's arrival.

A path to a championship is still visible, but the basketball Gods will need to be on the Nets' side for a change  to make that a reality.



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