PHOENIX — Brooklyn Nets ahead Ben Simmons’ struggles continued throughout a 117-112 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night time through which he was ejected for arguing with referee Eric Lewis after enjoying simply 18 minutes.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Nets, who proceed to flounder with out star ahead Kevin Durant, who’s out for a number of extra weeks due to an MCL sprain in his proper knee.
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn, when requested how the team might get Simmons again on observe, identified that his struggles are approaching “each side of the basketball.”
“We want him to be productive, and that’s with out the fouls,” Vaughn stated. “That helps us rebound the basketball. That is enjoying with poise and composure. That is pushing the tempo for us.
“So sadly once you’re a extremely good basketball participant, your record is lengthy and so are the obligations. And hopefully, we’ll proceed to ask of these issues and problem him and problem this group to have the ability to reply these lengthy lists .”
After racking up his first triple-double as a Net in Tuesday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Simmons spent Thursday’s recreation mired in foul bother and completed with seven factors, 4 rebounds, six assists and 4 turnovers. It has been a repeated sample of inconsistency for the previous All-Star, who has missed 11 video games this season due to numerous accidents.
After being referred to as for his fifth foul with 8:47 left within the third quarter, Simmons continued chirping at Lewis and was shortly whistled for 2 technicals within the span of some seconds. After the sport, he declined to enter particulars concerning the sequence.
“I do not wish to say something as a result of I’m not making an attempt to get one other high quality,” Simmons stated.
Simmons stated he believed he wasn’t getting a constant whistle all through the sport on how screens have been being set.
“I believe if you are going to name the sport like that, you then bought to be constant,” he stated. “I believe it has been like that every one 12 months. If you are going to name a transferring again, you then bought to be constant [on] each ends. Same with the holding.”
Aside from Simmons’ efficiency in Thursday’s recreation, the bigger challenge for the Nets is that he hasn’t been the All-Star-caliber participant the group thought it was getting when it traded for him simply earlier than final February’s deadline in a deal that despatched James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons has proven flashes of his outdated play, however his lack of ability to remain on the ground and contribute at a excessive degree has turn out to be problematic as the season has worn on.
While Vaughn stays hopeful that Simmons will discover his approach with extra movie work and an ongoing dialogue with the teaching employees, Simmons’ flaws have gotten extra obvious as the Nets attempt to flip issues round with out Durant. The Nets go into Friday’s recreation in opposition to the Utah Jazz having misplaced 4 straight and have highway video games with the Golden State Warriors and Simmons’ outdated team, the 76ers, after that.
Simmons is averaging simply 7.5 factors, 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists to date this 12 months. So what else can the Nets do to get him going once more?
“Same factor we have been doing is simply giving him a ton of confidence,” Nets guard Kyrie Irving stated. “But additionally understanding that he is mature sufficient to deal with himself. He’s a really gifted basketball participant, and we might identify all of the superlatives, however we want him within the recreation and I believe he understands that, particularly throughout this stretch we’ll want him in each recreation.
“I’ve gotten ejected earlier than solely as soon as in my profession. Tempers flare, you disagree with the refs, however the massive image is a very powerful factor, and on this team, I believe Ben realizes that. But tonight, simply his feelings bought the perfect of him.”