Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolution: Reggie Evans

Photo via Getty Images

Reggie Evans has gone from starting power forward on a playoff team to a man struggling for minutes.

What a difference a season can make.

Midway through the 2012-2013 season, Reggie Evans took the starting power forward gig from Kris Humphries and never looked back. In 80 games (56 starts) for the Nets, he averaged 4.5 points per game on 47% shooting. Where he really made his mark (and earned the starting gig) was on the boards. Evans averaged 11.1 rebounds per game, 16.3 rebounds per 36  minutes, and had a whopping 26.7 total rebounding percentage, second highest in NBA history for a single season. Evans’ defense was considered subpar, but it was overlooked due to his great rebounding numbers.

Fast-forward to the 2013-2014 season, and things could not be more different for the 13th-year veteran.

So far in this not-so-young season, Reggie Evans has accumulated more “Did Not Play - Coach’s Decision” (eight) than starts (five). Evans couldn’t even see the court during blowouts wins against the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, nor during the blowout loss against the Indiana Pacers. For a team in desperate need of a rebounding presence, this seems curious on the surface. Why wouldn’t a team who gets out-rebounded on most nights play a great rebounder?

The answer lies in Evans’ offense. Last season, while it often seemed the Nets were going 4-on-5 (or even 3-on-5 if Gerald Wallace was also on the court), Evans did not cripple the offense. He did not commit many offensive fouls nor did he turn the ball over too often. This season, however, has been the total opposite. When Evans is in the game, the Nets offense is greatly impacted (and not in a good way). The forward gets called for many illegal screens and offensive three-second violations, and when he does his job and grabs an offensive rebound, the result is usually a turnover or a poor shot attempt.

Reggie Evans' New Year's Resolution: Earn more playing time. And to do that, he’ll have to cut down on the turnovers, the three-second violations, the offensive fouls, and just do what he does best: grab rebounds.

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