With the Nets, growing frustration with Ben Simmons…
Currently without their best player Kevin Durant, the Nets are stuck with six losses in eight games, some of them as ugly as the last matchup with the Pistons at home. A loss in which Ben Simmons scored … zero points before exiting with an injury. A little more disappointing for a Brooklyn team that expected better from the Australian.
“The goal for me is everybody can play every game. Let everybody do what it takes to be ready to play every game. I think you have to give credit to the guys who did what it took to be ready to play tonight.”
This is what Nets coach Jacque Vaughn answered when a reporter asked him if he was concerned about the various injuries affecting Ben Simmons, especially in the second half of a back-to-back as was the case on Thursday against Detroit . We don’t know what you’re thinking here, but we have the impression that the Brooklyn coach wanted to send a little message to the Australian with this quote.
Playing catch up here — it is fucking WILD https://t.co/KYqSUbOnKU
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 27, 2023
Maybe this is just a misinterpretation on our part, but how else can this be interpreted knowing Ben Simmons’ current situation with the Nets?
To summarize, the Brooklyn team remains on six losses in eight games since Kevin Durant’s injury. When KD entered the infirmary, Simmons was logically expected step up to try to make up for the absence of the Nets superstar as much as possible. We’re still talking about a former All-Star and especially a guy who is paid $35 million this season, in other words that we have the right to have expectations about him. The Australian’s production in these eight games? 6 points average, 5.9 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 3.4 losses in over 27 minutes per match, all on 45% shooting (less than 6 attempts on average). It stings.
Aside from some great performances, like in San Antonio in mid-January and in the third quarter in Philadelphia the other night, Ben Simmons has continued to sorely lacking in aggression when Brooklyn probably needs him more than ever. To quote the commentator ofESPN Doris Burke at the Sixers-Nets game, “there are times when he completely disappears, it’s hard to watch, we’re talking about a three-time All-Star who became a role player”. Very true. And as if that wasn’t enough, you add to the poor offensive production a ejection for two technical fouls against Phoenix, and an injury outing against Detroit in a game where he finished with zero points in scoring.
“Every player, including Ben, has to play hard and give maximum in every possession. Just because you play in the first half doesn’t mean you’ll play in the second. We want to get to the point where your co-worker is counting on you to do the job every night, and every possession.
– Jacque Vaughn, after the game against the Sixers that Simmons finished on the bench
The injuries that continue to disturb Ben Simmons (left knee, left calf, back), related to this mental block that has characterized him since the end of the Sixers episode, are clearly weighing on Brooklyn today. And Criticism surrounding Simmons has been mounting in recent days. “Ben Simmons Steals Nets Money” for example, Stephen A. Smith and Jalen Rose recently said on the show NBA Countdown. For former player and now analyst Kendrick Perkins, the Nets should really think about moving Simmons, which is now an impossible mission due to the Australian’s huge amount of money.
The Brooklyn franchise clearly hears everything being said about Ben Simmons, and behind the scenes the frustration can only mount to Boomer. Not sure for the New York derby this Saturday, Simmons may be the biggest X factor in Brooklyn’s success this season but right now, he’s far – far – from delivering what the Nets expect of him.
“When Ben Simmons is aggressive, we’re really good and it gives us opportunities that we miss when he’s not.”
Perhaps there is a scenario where Ben succeeds in the coming weeks and finds some consistency in his performance to help his team reach the top. The Nets in any case want to keep believing in it.
But the more we advance, the more we wonder if they don’t cover their faces.
Looks like the Ben Simmons situation is about to fall apart https://t.co/01APwbj3lk
— Robin Lundberg (@robinlundberg) January 27, 2023