Ben Simmons sets target dates for Net’s playoff debut against Celtics

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons is hoping for his playoff debut after suffering a back injury since his trade.

The blockbuster trade that landed Ben Simmons in Brooklyn still hasn’t paid off as the all-star guard struggles with a back injury.

But the time could soon come when Simmons finally debuts with his new team.

If all goes according to plan, Simmons could line up with the Celtics for the back half of the Nets’ first-round series.

Ben Simmons update: Nets guard aiming for first-round return

“Sources: Three-time Nets All-Star Ben Simmons is targeting a return in Games 4-6 (April 25-29) of the first round series vs Celtics,” Charania reported on Thursday.

Game 4 is scheduled for Monday April 25th. If games 5 and 6 are required, they will be played on April 27th and 29th.

Head coach Steve Nash told reporters Thursday he doesn’t expect Simmons to be available.

“It’s Ben’s back. It’s not me or any of us but his back. And how we can contribute to this solution, great. But you know, there’s a chance Ben will come back; There’s a chance he won’t come back,” Nash said, per CBS Sports. “So I think we need to focus on the group, support Ben on his way back onto the stage, but at the same time we don’t have time to focus on the group playing.

Simmons has not played since June of last year, when he was heavily criticized for his performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Hawks. No game represented the reason for this criticism better than when he missed a wide-open dunk, seemingly nervous about his passion for shooting.

A row with the 76ers occupied most of the offseason as trade rumors ran rampant. However, Philadelphia did not find a trading partner before the start of the new season. Despite this, Simmons did not play.

Eventually, the Nets called, sending their disgruntled star James Harden to Philadelphia in exchange for Simmons.

Harden made his debut with the 76ers in late February, but Simmons couldn’t start with the Nets because of his bad back. Ben Simmons sets target dates for Net’s playoff debut against Celtics

John Verrall

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