The Brooklyn Nets have faced fair criticism after being eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Boston Celtics. Whether it is criticism of their general manager Sean Marks for how he built their roster, or Ben Simmons not being able to make his on-court debut with the Nets in the regular season or the playoffs, or critique of the Nets head coach Steve Nash.
Despite complaints, it looks like the Nets are staying put with both Steve Nash and Ben Simmons. Nash has the backing of Brooklyn’s star player Kevin Durant, as well as Sean Marks. Recently, Nash made comments about the future of Ben Simmons and how the team plans to use him next season.
While this news may be to the lament of Nets fans who would like to see the Nets move on from one or both of Simmons and Nash, one former NBA head coach helps illustrate how it may not be the worst thing for Brooklyn.
Stan Van Gundy Defends Steve Nash
Following the first round of the NBA playoffs, the former head coach and current analyst tweeted that while fans call for their coach to make adjustments, perhaps they are not noticing the ones that are actually being made.
“Just because you don’t recognize the adjustments the NBA coach you are criticizing is making doesn’t mean “he isn’t making any adjustments.” And sometimes, no matter how many adjustments a coach makes it doesn’t change the result because the other team is just better.” Van Gundy said via Twitter.
This brought some unique discourse between fans and the former coach of the Orlando Magic. One Nets fan echoed many people’s feelings saying, “Steve Nash definitely isn’t making any adjustments.”
Van Gundy then backed up his original tweet with the adjustments that the 2x All-Star Game head coach saw in his analysis.
“Changed matchup on Tatum, blitzed Tatum, mixed in 1-2-2 zone, put Durant at elbow with weakside screening action, flashed Brown middle when they load up vs. KD, put Irving and Durant high in the slots and shooters in the corner for better spacing. You’re right, no adjustments.” Van Gundy continued.
However, he didn’t stop there. After more replies, he added to the adjustments he noticed with two more. Referencing his above tweet, Van Gundy added saying, “Read my reply to Osman. And add using Blake Griffin instead of Edwards or going back to Drummond in second half of Game 3.”
Is there hope for Steve Nash?
How much will Nets fans give caution to the comments by Van Gundy? It likely doesn’t change their mind. However, it looks like they are going to have to deal with the Nets head coach for at least another season.
Perhaps the most important adjustment that Nash could make is taking a little bit more control than he previously had. Some of the criticism around Brooklyn’s head coach is that he is letting the Nets stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have too much power. The lack of creativity offensively has been a common complaint, but many cite that to being because of their two All-Stars preferring to play free.
Is this something that can change? Can he also make adjustments to the team’s defensive philosophy? They recently lost assistant coach Amar’e Stoudemire and rumors have David Vanterpool slated to leave as well. Bringing in quality coaches to fill that vacancy could give Nash added buy-in. It is clear there are places that Nash could improve and that likely will come with continued experience and surrounding himself with good coaches.