Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gerald Wallace Compares Reggie Evans to Dennis Rodman

Photo by Al Berhman/AP
In a recent interview on the YES Network, former Brooklyn Nets forward Gerald Wallace compared Reggie Evans favorably to NBA legend, five-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman.

"His enthusiasm on defense and the energy level on defense and rebounding is is almost Rodman-like," Wallace said of Evans. "He pursues the ball, and, you know, he's aggressive on that. I think he's a great asset...He comes here, he knows his job and his role well and he does it grade-A."

Watch the video here.

This comparison is rather generous. Rodman is known for his high energy, defensive tenacity and supreme rebounding talent. Evans was a monster on the boards last season, averaging 11.1 rebounds per game in just 24.6 minutes, but he does not come close to contributing the type of energy and hustle that Rodman was so known for and is not at all a good defender. Evans is really a one trick pony, even during his career year last season.

Last year, Evans averaged a monstrous 16.2 rebounds per 36 minutes. This year, his role has been significantly reduced and has only played in 17 of Brooklyn's 23 games so far and his rebounding has taken a significant step back. He averages just 4.7 rebounds per game in 13.5 minutes. That's an average of 12.5 rebounds per 36 minutes – still impressive, but definitely a great step back for a player who the team really relies on for that one skill.
Photo courtesy Getty Images

On one hand, you can see where Wallace is coming from – both are undersized power forwards (Evans is 6'8" on a good day, Rodman is around 6'6" or 6'7") and are terrific rebounders. Rodman averaged 13.1 rebounds over a 14-year NBA career and 14.9 rebounds per 36 minutes. Over Evans' career, he's averaged 7.2 rebounds per game and 13.2 per 36 minutes. Not that far off.

But the comparisons really end there. Rodman was a key part in five different championship teams. He was more than a role player – he is arguably one of the top 10 power forwards of all time. Evans is a role player at best and a benchwarmer at worst, and he's looked at his worst more often than not this season. Kidd never called his name six times already this year and he gets called for three-second violations on both sides of the ball all too often. He has looked slow on defense and leaves his assignments a lot, and just lacks the kind of hustle and fire that made Rodman such a dynamic player.

So, thanks for the compliment, Wallace, but I think you're giving Reggie a bit too much credit. You can say he's a poor man's version of Rodman in terms of his rebounding and size, but that's pretty much it.

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