Nets frustration grows over Ben Simmons…
The Nets, currently without their best player, Kevin Durant, are on a six-game losing streak in eight games, some of them as dirty as the last matchup at home against the Pistons. A loss in which Ben Simmons scored … zero points before getting hurt. A little more disappointing for the Brooklyn team, who expected better from Australia.
“For me, the goal is for everyone to be able to play every game. Let everyone do what they need to do to be ready for every game. I think you have to give credit to the guys who did what it took to be ready to play tonight.”
Nets coach Jacques Vaughn had this to say when a reporter asked him if he was concerned about the various injuries affecting Ben Simmons, especially in the second half of back-to-back games like Thursday’s against Detroit. We don’t know what you think, but we got the impression that the Brooklyn coach wanted to send a little message to the Australian with this quote.
Playing catch here – it’s WILD https://t.co/KYqSUbOnKU
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) January 27, 2023
Maybe it’s just a misinterpretation on our part, but knowing Ben Simmons’ current situation with the Nets, how else to interpret it?
To recap, Brooklyn has six losses in eight games since Kevin Durant’s injury. Simmons was logically expected when KD joined the infirmary step up Trying to make up for the absence of the Nets superstar as much as possible. We’re still talking about a former All-Star, and one guy in particular paid 35 million dollars this season, in other words, we have a right to have expectations about it. Made in Australia in these eight games? Averaged 6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 3.4 turnovers over 27 minutes per match, all on 45% shooting (fewer than 6 attempts on average). It stings.
Ben Simmons continues, except for a few good ones, like in San Antonio in mid-January and in the third quarter in Philadelphia. Brooklyn is sorely lacking in aggression when he probably needs it more than ever. To quote a commentatorESPN Doris Burke during 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’s a role player.” Very true. And as if that wasn’t enough, you add to that lackluster offensive production two technical fouls against Phoenix and an injury-plagued outing against Detroit in a game where he finished with zero points in scoring.
“Every player, including Ben, has to play to their full potential and give their best in every possession. Just because you play in the first half doesn’t mean you’ll play in the second half. We want to get to the point where your teammate expects you to do it every night and have everything.
– Jacques Vaughn after the game against the Sixers in which Simmons finished on the bench
The injuries that continue to plague Ben Simmons (left knee, left calf, back), related to that 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 for the past few days. “Ben Simmons steals money from the net” 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 definitely consider a trade for Simmons, which is impossible today given the Aussie’s terrible value for money.
The Brooklyn franchise obviously hears everything that’s being said about Ben Simmons, and behind the scenes, the frustration can only be on Boomer. Uncertain for this Saturday’s New York Derby, Simmons may be the biggest X-factor in Brooklyn’s success this season but so far, he’s far from delivering what the Nets expect of him.
“When Ben Simmons is aggressive, we’re really good and he gives us opportunities that we miss when he’s not.”
– Kyrie Irving
Perhaps there is a scenario where Ben is able to step up in the coming weeks and find some consistency in his performance to help his team reach the top. The Nets want to keep believing that, anyway.
But the further we go, the more we think, don’t they cover their faces?
Looks like the Ben Simmons situation is nearing breaking point https://t.co/01APwbj3lk
— Robin Lundberg (@robinlundberg) January 27, 2023