NBAGLeague.com’s “Coach’s Take” will provide Q&As with NBA and NBA G League coaches about players throughout the league during the 2017-18 season.
NBA G League alum Jonathon Simmons has had quite the start with the Orlando Magic to begin the season after signing as a free agent. He has slid into the regular rotation for the Magic, averaging 14 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25.5 minutes per game so far. The Austin Spurs alum most notably dropped a career-high 27 points against the Hornets on Oct. 29, and more recently went for 21 points, three rebounds and an assist against the Pacers on Nov. 27.
Alex Busch: Starting off, what has impressed you so far about Jonathon and his play?
Frank Vogel: He’s got great competitive spirit. That’s why everybody says that he has a great edge about him and he does. That elevates the group. That’s probably a big reason why he’s here. That’s why we went out and got him because it did show us a lot. That’s who he is – he’s a hard-playing dude who fights and competes. That should enhance what we’re doing here.
AB: What does he bring to the locker room off the court?
FV: He’s exceeded our expectations and he’s a tough-minded dude who really cares. He’s well-liked in the locker room and he’s changed our team’s identity, ego and attitude. He’s given us a little bit of an edge and a swagger.
AB: What do you like most about his game? What has surprised you, if anything?
FV: He’s a dynamic player and I’m really excited about what he looks like and what he’s going to bring to our team. The athleticism, the attacking of the basket, the relentless drives to the rim and the toughness on the defensive end – I’m just excited about what I’ve seen.
AB: Why is he going to succeed in the NBA? What differentiates him from others with the same skills?
FV: I love having guys like that and I don’t know anyone in management or coaching that doesn’t love having guys like Jonathon who just fight, bring a chip on their shoulder and an edge. Teams just don’t win in the NBA without that and we were happy to have Jonathon choose us.