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NBA: Can Jacque Vaughn succeed with Brooklyn Nets?

Jacque Vaughn has been handed another chance to lead an NBA team after being hired as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets following Steve Nash's exit.

The Nets have some incredibly talented players on their roster, but Nash was unable to lead the expensively assembled team to a championship.

Brooklyn fell at the first hurdle last season as they went down in four games to Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, while they were eliminated by Milwaukee Bucks in the second round in the previous campaign - Nash's first in the hotseat.

The pressure will be on Vaughn to deliver, although expectations may not be quite as high in Brooklyn as they have been over the last few seasons, and his biggest task will be getting the best out of the star names within the squad.

Who is Brooklyn Nets head coach James Vaughn?

Vaughn enjoyed a 12-year playing career in the NBA as a reserve point guard for Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks (twice), Orlando Magic, the Nets (as the New Jersey Nets) and San Antonio Spurs.

The 47-year-old won a championship with the Spurs and worked under legendary coach Greg Popovich in San Antonio.

The LA native's playing career seems to have set him up well for coaching and he has enjoyed various roles at a number of different teams over the years.

Vaughn started out as an assistant at San Antonio and had a three-year spell as Orlando coach, before taking on various roles with Brooklyn - including an interim spell as the head coach in 2019-20.

Vaughn knows the Nets organization well, having played for them and worked on the coaching team since 2016, and as such he should already have some idea of what needs to happen for the team to be successful.

Can Vaughn resolve Brooklyn's roster issues?

Brooklyn managed to put together a big three that looked set to dominate the league when they added James Harden to their roster to work alongside Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but they barely featured as a trio before Harden departed for Philadelphia 76ers.

Irving is clearly one of the elite level guards in the league, but his mentality remains a concern and he has been suspended by the team for the start of Vaughn's tenure, while Durant's commitment is still unclear as both he and Irving attempted to engineer moves away during the offseason.

Ben Simmons arrived from Philly as part of the trade that saw Harden join the Sixers, but he is yet to show any kind of form in Brooklyn.

The key for Vaughn to enjoy a successful tenure as Nets head coach will be getting the best out of Durant, Irving and Simmons but that is far easier said than done.

Durant continues to impress and he is averaging 30.6 points-per-game, 6.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists, but Irving, when available, has been in indifferent form and Simmons is still working his way back after missing the entirety of last season due to personal reasons.

The Nets supporting cast have also struggled, and Vaughn appears to have a big job on his hands to get the team firing again but he does at least have time on his side.

What would be considered a successful season for Brooklyn Nets?

The Nets were rated among the favorites to go all the way before the season began and they should still be considered title contenders despite their indifferent start to the campaign, with Brooklyn priced at +1200 to win the championship outright.

However, they made a 2-5 start to the season under Nash and remain outside the postseason spots despite showing signs of improvement. Brooklyn are 4-3 since Vaughn took charge, initially on an interim basis before being confirmed as their new permanent coach, meaning they have a 6-8 record and sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

The playoffs will be a minimum target for Vaughn and anything less than a top six seed would be regarded as disappointing, given the talent they have on their team.

However, Vaughn's main goal will be turning a team of misfiring individuals into a cohesive unit and if he can get Durant, Irving, Simmons and the rest of the squad working together then that should be considered as a success.

Ultimately, the Nets are still a work in progress and if Vaughn can oversee significant improvements that should be enough to see him stay as head coach beyond the end of the season, regardless of how they fare in the playoffs at the end of the year.

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