Steve Nash was not put in a position to succeed this year. Injuries, trade demands, vaccination mandates, and a million other obstacles stood in front of the Brooklyn Nets this year, but that doesn’t change the fact that Nash needs to go.
The Hall of Fame point guard was handpicked by Kevin Durant and Steve Nash despite the fact that he had no experience as a head coach. Players win championships, but coaches can lose games. There is plenty of blame to go around after an embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics, but let’s focus on Nash for now.
It would be easy to give Nash the benefit of the doubt after the tumultuous regular season if the Nets showed even the slightest hint of resiliency in this series. A sweep? That’s inexcusable.
Changes need to be made and when that’s the case, it’s usually the head coach who is first on the chopping block. Again, a lot of what went wrong for Brooklyn was out of Nash’s hands, but that’s no excuse for the things he could control.
The turning point in the series came in Game 2 when Brooklyn blew a double-digit lead in the second half. Instead of leaving Boston with a game in hand, the Nets came back to Brooklyn in a must-win situation.
There were no blowouts in this series. The Celtics only won by an average of 4.5 points per game. Too often in these games, the Nets’ crunchtime offense boiled down to “give Durant or Irving the ball and hope they score.”
At times that can work because Durant and Irving are generational scorers, but it shouldn’t be the go-to plan.
To add insult to injury, Celtics coach Ime Udoka — who ran circles around Nash this series — was a Nets assistant last year. Boston is Udoka’s first stint as a head coach, but he had extensive experience as an assistant before taking the gig. Remember, Nash had no coaching experience outside of a role as a player development consultant with the Golden State Warriors.
If Durant and Irving want Nash to stay, he probably will. They run the show in Brooklyn, but after three seasons and one playoff series win, maybe that’s part of the problem. Changes need to be made and the first one needs to be the head coach.
Kevin Durant gives his vote of confidence in having Steve Nash remain as the Nets' head coach:
"Steve has been dealt a crazy hand the last 2 years" pic.twitter.com/OM07pHojxo
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) April 26, 2022
This franchise needs serious changes at multiple levels. Fair or unfair, Nash needs to be one of those changes.