WASHINGTON (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles spoke to Brandon Jennings about the slumping rookie guard’s recent lament that he doesn’t “even know if I want to shoot the ball.”
“We’re not fond of that kind of statement,” Skiles said before the Bucks played at the Washington Wizards on Friday night. “He’s too important to our team and our franchise to have any sort of defeatest-type mind-set right now. And he doesn’t, really.”
Skiles chalked up Jennings’ words to coming in the “heat of the moment” after a game — and to Jennings’ being only 20 years old. “We know where his heart lies. He’s a really good person, he’s hardworking, and he loves the game,” Skiles said.
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Jennings was down on himself after Wednesday’s home victory over Washington, when he made only 2 of 12 shots and had six turnovers. He acknowledged that he’s been “struggling pretty bad” and added, “I don’t even know if I want to shoot the ball.” Entering Friday, he was averaging 9.9 points and shooting 25.3 percent over Milwaukee’s previous eight games.
“We all know what people would want to hear, what your teammates would want to hear, and fans would want to hear, and coaches and everything, is: ‘I’m going to play through it. I’m going to get better. I’m going to keep playing my game.’ That’s what the confident guys say,” Skiles said.