Jacque Vaughn Gives Season-Altering Injury Update on Nets Star

Brooklyn Nets All-Star forward Ben Simmons has missed 15 consecutive games with knee soreness. Initially, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn was non-committal on the prospect of Simmons’ not returning this season. But On March 23, the Nets head coach said the former Defensive Player of the Year finalist still has not begun on-court activity with his teammates. And with just nine games remaining in the regular season, and the Nets fighting for their playoff lives, the chances of Simmons returning seem increasingly less likely.

“He hasn’t scripted with our group — first group, second group, or anything of that nature,” Vaughn told reporters before the Nets took on the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 23 via Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

“Ben is in the same position he was the last time I talked to you, nothing further to comment on. I don’t think I can give you anything else. There’s been no … there’s been no nothing to add, really.”

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Jacque Vaughn Sounds off on Ben Simmons’ Game Shape

With the regular season ending, even if Simmons does return, it is highly unlikely that he will be in game shape, especially for the playoffs when the game intensity picks up. But Vaughn says the thought of what type of shape Simmons will be in, is putting the cart before the horse. The Nets have way more immediate issues that need addressing.

“I don’t even think that far ahead. I don’t even complicate my life that way,” Vaughn said of Simmons potentially being out of shape upon returning.

“I’m concerned about today’s game, and if those questions present themselves, I’ll be more than willing to see how he fits with the group and answer them at that time, but I don’t even want to look that far ahead.”

Jacque Vaughn, Spencer Dinwiddie Sound Off on Costly Mistake

The Nets had an impressive win over a top contender in the Denver Nuggets on March 14. But since then, Brooklyn has lost five straight games, including their latest loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 23. The Nets were one stop away from snapping a four-game losing streak, but a last-minute shot by Cavs guard Isaac Okoro handed them another loss.



— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 24, 2023

However, the Nets’ struggles to close games were on display way before Okoro’s game-winner. A turnover by Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie in the game’s waning moments initiated their demise. A costly mistake that the Nets guard took full responsibility for after the loss.

“When you’re getting trapped, you’re supposed to have a couple of guys flash to the ball. It was a little bit delayed, so sometimes you try to throw a guy open. In hindsight, I should’ve just called a timeout,” Dinwiddie said of the turnover via YES Network.

“I accept full responsibility for that. That’s not on [Finney-Smith], that’s on me. He hadn’t been in the game, so it’s not on him.”

Vaughn gave his thoughts on the play as well.

“I think they were a little late to even realize they had the trap,” Vaughn said following the loss via YES Network. “We had enough shooters out there for them to foul us. I thought we were in a good position to continue to spray the ball around because they were going to have to foul to put us on the line.”

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