Losing to Phoenix is nothing new. Shoot, losing is nothing new. But when your leading scorer and franchise cornerstone takes as many shots as there are quarters in an NBA game?
That's new, and I don't like it.
Consider this: Jennings has improved at an incredible rate in terms of willingness to attack the paint and use that space to find a quality shot for himself or a teammate. Last night, he treated the paint like it was lava, and didn't even get close to it.
Scott Skiles said that he was "disconnected" during his post-game remarks. Jennings himself had less to say than he usually does, choosing short answers to the normal media questions. Jeremy over at Bucksketball has a good breakdown.
On his Twitter, Jennings re-tweeted several negative comments, including (I'm paraphrasing) "be more consistent!" and "terrible game!" and "How do you expect to be an all-star like that?" What was most concerning, though, was this:
I'm not a role model, so stop trying make me one..... My life has no rules I do what I want!
Oddly enough, the one who stands to lose the most from this turn of events might be Brandon himself. After going on an absolute tear for the first 18-20 games, Jennings has visibly fallen off, and these rumors of his disinterest and discontent could make the Eastern Conference coaches look past him when they submit their All Star reserve ballots tomorrow night. A big outing against Toronto might help control the damage...but it might be too late.
Simply put, this isn't what I expect out of Brandon Jennings. Not that I have unfair standards for him, but that he's demonstrated himself to be generally affable, focusing on positives and not letting the negativity of losing get to him.
I don't like this, you guys. Brandon never seemed like one to play the role of malcontent. And maybe this is just a one-time thing, and we'll get back the carefree Jennings we all know and love. Maybe I'm being paranoid. Maybe this is a molehill that we're turning into a mountain. Maybe everything will be fine.