With the loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon, the Brooklyn Nets are officially one game under. 500. Ben Simmons is still far away from making a return and the Nets only have a little over a month until the playoffs start, assuming they make it. In layman’s terms, this season has been a massive disaster for the Brooklyn Nets. With such, it’s time to hold people accountable in their role for this disappointing season-starting with head coach Steve Nash.
Case for Keeping Steve Nash:
Steve Nash did not have a straightforward job in his first two years as head coach. Unavailability and the lack of a consistent healthy roster have been a recurring theme for the Brooklyn Nets. Last season alone, the Nets had to resort to 34 different starting lineups, 2nd most in the league. Despite this, Nash steered the ship, getting good on-court production from role players such as Bruce Brown and Jeff Green. The Nets finished the season with a 48-24 record in a shortened 72-game season (2nd seed) while taking the eventual champions to a seven-game series. I like to quote a snippet of my previous article that is still very applicable to this conversation. And I quote, “a good NBA head coach needs to have an understanding and acceptance of modern basketball principles. This includes prioritizing spacing, willingness to play small ball, and switching on defense. Nash is willing to do all these things..”
Even as a first-time NBA head coach, Nash has a modern-day approach to basketball which is crucial in a team with championship aspirations. Nash plays his players through their strengths, hence why we play lots of “iso-ball” with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Ultimately, Nash’s ability to persevere through injuries with his acceptance of modern-day basketball and his strong relationship with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are reasons the Nets should not fire him.
Case for Parting ways with Steve Nash:
As mentioned earlier, the Brooklyn Nets are having a disappointing season. They are currently the 8th seed (play-in) and are a game below .500.
One of Nash’s weaknesses is his incoherent rotations. While, yes, unavailability affects rotations, there is no reason four severely limited offensive players should share the floor. Nash overplays a lineup that includes a mixture of Bruce Brown/James Johnson/Blake Griffin, which results in long-scoring droughts.
The Nets defense is just painful to watch. Players forgetting assignments, players switching when they’re not supposed to, and overall too many mental breakdowns. Hence it’s easy to see why the Nets often find themselves in close games after going up by double digits and why there are so many heartbreaking losses this season.
I do not think firing Steve Nash will solve the issues. The main issue as a team is our unavailability. Whether it’s injuries or personal beliefs, the Brooklyn Nets’ star-studded roster has barely gotten on the floor together. That is not Steve Nash’s fault. While Nash is not a perfect head coach, most NBA coaches in this league are going to have problems trying to win games when nearly 70% of their cap space is unavailable.
Ultimately, unless there’s a clear-cut upgrade on the coaching market this summer, I do not think firing Steve Nash will make a substantial difference in the Nets championship aspiration.