NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn has been a breath of fresh air for the Nets after some moments of drama and turmoil. Since Vaughn took over for Steve Nash following a 2-5 start to this season, Brooklyn is 23-7 and is arguably the hottest team in the NBA right now. However, one thing that has yet to change, at least on a consistent basis, is guard Ben Simmons’ lack of shots and futility at the free-throw line.
“Really haven’t spoken to him about it,” Vaughn said when asked if he’s talked to Simmons about his lack of shooting in terms of attempts and still struggling to make free throws. “I don’t see that it’s an issue really to kind of address. The free-throws haven’t presented themselves. I think he’s still driven the ball to the rim and he’s had some rim attacks. Overall, we just want him to play.”
In Brooklyn’s 139-103 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, Simmons had nine assists, six rebounds, and three steals, but he only had four points on five shots. Despite Simmons looking more confident with each game, there are still times where he’s reluctant to shoot even if the matchup is in his favor. For the season, Simmons is averaging 7.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, six assists, and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 59.8% from the field. However, he is shooting just 42.9% from the free-throw line.
As of now, Simmons reluctance to shoot the ball and struggles at the free-throw line have not stopped the Nets from winning just yet. But, with matchups coming up against the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Miami Heat, Simmons may need to overcome those obstacles if the Nets want to keep their winning ways going.
The Nets’ next game is Wednesday at the Chicago Bulls.