Royce O’Neale does not shoot or score in his comeback to the Nets

Royce O’Neale does not shoot or score in his comeback to the Nets

Wednesday night in Chicago, Royce O’Neale returned from a non-COVID illness, but his shooting touch was still a little sickly.

The veteran entered firing.

In the Nets’ 121-112 loss to the Bulls, they shot 413 percent from 3-point range, but went 0-for-9 from the field and 0-for-8 from deep.

“Of course, when you’re sick and can’t play, it has an effect,” O’Neale said to The Post. “However, these men lack trust in my ability to continue shooting, so I will continue to do so. I mean, I’ve never played a game like this before. However, I grew from it. Every game is an educational opportunity. And you know, this is fantastic for me and my future.”

Similar thoughts were expressed by Jacque Vaughn, who earlier in the season gave O’Neale the second-most minutes in the league.

“I hope he understands that I have a great deal of faith in him to play 35 minutes,” Vaughn added. “He missed his first and second attempts, but we will continue to have faith in him. I enjoy coaching Royce, and he will remain on the court. And he’ll make those shots when he gets them.”

Vaughn, in his first comments after being voted Eastern Conference Coach of the Month on Tuesday – the first such distinction of his career — attributed the honor to the squad. And he did so in classic Vaughn flair, a mixture of modesty and comedy.

“I received a hilarious text from a buddy, whose identity I will not reveal, who said, ‘What’s so wonderful about a turtle resting on top of a fence post? He did not arrive there on his own. Vaughn stated prior to Wednesday’s match.

“Therefore, I’m very intelligently aware that this award goes to the performance team, the coaching staff, and, ultimately, the players. As a result, we had a fantastic month as a team because those guys came out and hooped. So, I am merely a turtle; that’s all.”

TJ Warren was removed from the game in the fourth quarter due to injury.

“Yes, you have a rib contusion, so they will examine him. No more updates were provided. But that was caused by the unauthorized screen,” Vaughn added, unclear if the veteran would require imaging.

“I’m not sure. They merely informed me before I left and after he had examined the game, so I will meet with those gentlemen. Not certain about scans, however.”


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