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The new ‘Big 3’ nets are running out of time to develop chemistry

If the Nets thought their Big 3 didn’t get enough time together last year, this year’s season will be far, far worse. If it happens at all.

Kevin Durant is still injured, Kyrie Irving is still a part-time player, and newbie Ben Simmons hasn’t even practiced with the Nets yet, play much less. They even lost their coach, with Steve Nash joins health and safety protocols before Monday and Tuesday compared to Toronto playoff meaning.

These Nets still claim their goal is a title. Had it not been for New York City to force a change to let Irving play and Simmons to miss this upcoming three-game trip, the Nets would have crossed a historic short runway to win that ring.

“I’m not too worried about that,” Bruce Brown said. Why not? “Because our boys will be back, and we’ll take care of the business.

“It’s just health. We haven’t played together yet. So just getting on the floor with everyone, we’ll figure out what we need to do to learn and fix the things we need to do. We just had to get on the floor together. ”

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons
Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons
USA TODAY Sports; NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg; Jason Szenes

There is no indication of when that will happen, with Joe Harris out indefinitely and Andre Drummond suffering a left knee injury on Monday keeping him out on Tuesday.

And Simmons is still not expected to begin training this week, with no details on his sore back or his season debut. Athletic describes it as “hopeful and optimistic that at some point before the regular season is over he will be back in the ring,” and a source told The Post fully expecting that to happen. .

But when is a mystery.

Nash made no secret of Simmons playing mid-month. Simmons has said he hopes to play in the March 10 game against his former 76ers in Philly, and the Nets host the Knicks three days later. And assistant Jacque Vaughn – who stood as head coach until Nash’s return – ignored the question entirely.

“The great thing is that Steve will be on the health and safety protocols only for a certain amount of time and he will be able to address those questions. I will be by his side in case he needs any advice from me,” Vaughn said.

“Ben is still dealing with some things, recovering from his health, so he won’t be playing this week. But we will continue to work on his timeline and hope he goes well,” Nash said. “He’s just doing some light imaging and physical therapy, making sure he gets 100% back.”

Steve Nash
Steve Nash
AP

Largely made up of Durant, Irving and Harden got just 202 minutes together in eight games last season, or 5.8% of the possible game time. No team in the past quarter-century has won titles with their top three scorers together so few during the regular season.

The Lakers 2000-01 won after Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Derek Fisher scored just 10 games together. The Mavs won a decade later with Dirk Nowitzki, Caron Butler and Jason Terry together in just 231 minutes, or 5.9% of game time. And while Simmons is not guaranteed to replace Seth Curry as the third scorer, the score remains the same.

Thanks to Durant’s MCL injury and Irving not playing at home – and not until January 5 – they have scored just 82 minutes together in three games. Durant could return on Thursday against Miami, but Irving has only qualified for seven more games. If Simmons misses the upcoming trip, the Big 3 could be together only four times, far below that historic championship threshold.

“We are at that point of the season where you have a lot of new boys. You try to draw those people in and try to create that chemical reaction,” says Goran Dragic. “A lot of boys were also injured; so when we bring people back, it’s going to be a lot easier. But there are no excuses, we have to play well with the guys we have right now and try to win.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/01/nets-new-big-3-running-out-of-time-to-develop-chemistry/ The new ‘Big 3’ nets are running out of time to develop chemistry

JOE HERNANDEZ

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