“There’s no other way than him to say, ‘I’m ready,'” Nash said after Wednesday’s shootaround. “Especially after an absence this long. So whenever he is ready, it’s going to have to be on him to say, ‘I feel comfortable. I feel ready to go. I want to play and I want to contribute.’
“We can’t push him places when you have been out this long. It’s got to be something where he is definitely comfortable and ready to play.”
The Nets enter the evening trailing the Celtics by a 1-0 count in the series. Game 2 is in Boston.
Simmons, of course, has been out with a lower back issue. He recently increased his activity to 4-on-4 workouts, Nash told reporters.
Nash added that while Simmons can give the word that he’s ready to go, it will also be based on what the training staff thinks.
“I think it’s more of a collective decision,” Nash said. “I think they understand that it’s bigger than just a linear equation. This has been a prolonged absence. So I think it’s more, they’re in this together, trying to find a resolution and a time frame to come back where he is safe to play and well enough to contribute.”
Nets star Kevin Durant recently indicated he has been taking the approach that Simmons won’t play.
“I’m not putting any pressure on Ben to come out there and hoop,” Durant said. “So I’m not expecting him to do anything but just to get his body right and get healthy as fast as he can. So in my mind, I’m preparing as if we’re playing with the team we have.”