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NBA - US Sports: Nash upbeat on Simmons fitness

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash is confident Ben Simmons will be able to make a debut before the regular season comes to a close.

The Nets are 11/2 to win the NBA Championship outright, while Simmons' former team Philadelphia 76ers can be backed currently at 15/2.

Nash holds Simmons hope

Simmons made the move to Brooklyn on the trade deadline but is yet to make an appearance for his new team.

The Australian missed the first half of the season with Philadelphia after requesting a trade during the offseason, then arrived at Brooklyn lacking match fitness.

Simmons is now struggling with a neck issue but Nash expects the guard to make his Nets debut before the regular season comes to an end.

"He's just doing his rehab, strengthening," Nash told abc News, adding that he has "extremely high hopes that we'll see him in the regular season."

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Boss to give Simmons time

Nash accepts it may take some time for Simmons, who is a three-time All-Star, to gel with his new teammates but he still feels the 25-year-old can make a big impact when he is available.

He added: "I don't expect him to be totally dialled in on what we're doing because part of that is also feel; getting out there with your teammates, seeing how it fits. I think he'll be a perfect fit for our guys. But some of that stuff is also getting out there and doing it, learning on the fly, rather than reading it off the notes."

The Nets are in action on Wednesday as they entertain Dallas Mavericks.

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