Kyrie Irving just wants Ben Simmons to shoot the basketball.
During the Brooklyn Nets-Milwaukee Bucks battle in Wisconsin on Wednesday night, Irving drove to the basket and dished off a pass to Simmons who was in the lane with him.
But, instead of going up hard to the hoop for some points, Simmons immediately looked to pass the rock.
Irving showed his frustration with his teammate and a hot microphone caught him yelling, “Shoot it Ben!”
Simmons would maneuver around the Bucks’ defense and find Kevin Durant, who did what he does best: shoot.
Durant pump-faked a shot, drove to the left elbow, and hit a jumper for two points.
The Nets would lose to the Bucks, 110-99, where Simmons went 2-for-7 from the field in 34:28 of playing time.
It may have been points for Brooklyn, but Irving has the same feelings as a lot of Nets fans right now. Since he made his Nets debut this season, Simmons has looked like a very timid player offensively.
Simmons has infamously been one to think pass first, too, as his final games with the 76ers in the playoffs showed that.
He’s been filling up the stat sheet elsewhere with the Nets, though, in terms of assists and rebounds. But the player that’s averaged at least 14 points per game with the Philadelphia 76ers hasn’t been putting the ball through twine too much to start the year.
Heading into this game with the Bucks, Simmons took just 13 total shots in three contests, making seven for a total 17 points. Simmons was averaging 28 minutes per game, so 4.3 average field goal attempts per game isn’t what head coach Steve Nash expected.
Simmons has also fouled out in two of the first three games, which isn’t like him. Nash spoke to The New York Post about how he wants “joy” to be found by Simmons again playing the game he’s been away from for some time.
“For me, it’s trying to take the risk off the table,” he said. “I’m not expecting him to be 100% in the short term, but I want him to try to find that [joy] and join him playing the game.”
Now, having players like Irving and Durant on the floor usually means diminished shot attempts. This is also Simmons’ first time on the court in an NBA setting since the 2020-21 campaign, having held out with the 76ers last year before being a part of the James Harden trade involving the Nets. Then, a back injury forced him to wait until this season to make his team debut.
As Simmons gets more minutes and more used to his new teammates, perhaps he will begin to shoot the ball more, especially in situations where he is close to the rim.
At least, that’s what Irving wants to see when he passes the ball to him.