Nets noncommittal on Ben Simmons returning this season
DENVER — Jacque Vaughn has repeatedly insisted the Nets haven’t mentioned shutting injured Ben Simmons down.
However requested Sunday if Simmons is coming again this season, Vaughn was conspicuously noncommittal.
“Yeah, I feel initially I’ll simply be fairly easy. He’s nonetheless managing his again and knee soreness,” Vaughn stated cryptically. “He’s again dwelling in Brooklyn. We’ll get an opportunity to type of see the place he’s at after we get again dwelling after this journey.”
Simmons missed his tenth consecutive sport Sunday within the Nets’ 122-120 win over the Nuggets, and his twenty sixth of the season.
He hasn’t performed since earlier than the NBA All-Star break, when he had fluid in his left knee drained and a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection.
The Nets put Simmons’ sore knee on a strengthening program, and since then his troublesome again has flared up once more.
Simmons missed all of final season with a herniated L-4 disk in his again and ultimately required a microdiscectomy process in Might.
The three-time All-Star, who has been robbed of his explosion, is averaging 6.9 factors, 6.3 boards, 6.1 assists and 43.9 p.c taking pictures from the free-throw line, all career-lows.
With Simmons making $37.9 million subsequent season and $40.3 in 2024-25, getting him again to an affordable facsimile of his former self is a prime precedence.
Level guard Spencer Dinwiddie set a career-high with 16 assists.
It’s the highest help whole for a Web this season.
“Spencer 16 assists, unbelievable,” Vaughn stated. “He’s tuned in and he’s turned on. So each night time he’s producing for us, he’s studying easy methods to play with this group. He’s studying when to be aggressive, when to get to the rim, easy methods to handle this group.And he’s tuned in to every particular person, whether or not that’s within the huddle, whether or not that’s the final play of the sport, how are we going to cowl that? After which he’s producing; he’s been turned on.”
Heart Nic Claxton (20 factors, six rebounds, 5 assists) had the primary 20/5/5 sport of his profession.
He did an excellent job operating the lob sport with Dinwiddie, shot 8-for-9 from the ground and even went 4 of 4 from the foul line.
“I used to be in rhythm,” Claxton shrugged. “They got here out they usually have been trapping. Each time I used to be setting the display, [Nikola] Jokic was going out and blitzing. It type of gave me that feeling of how issues was once each time groups would entice [Kyrie Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant], so I’m used to being enjoying in that pocket and I used to be in a position to make some good performs for the crew.”
In addition to the free-throw taking pictures, essentially the most encouraging sight may need been his pull-up jumper from the baseline, one thing he hasn’t proven since faculty.
Even Dinwiddie admitted it was essentially the most stunning play of the afternoon.
“For certain, 1,000 p.c. Now that was essentially the most shocking play of the sport,” Dinwiddie stated. “[Screw] the assists. He did a one dribble pull up and made it.”