|Photo via Wikimedia Commons|
But, as always, there are plenty of negatives. One of those is the offensive play of Reggie Evans.
A glaring issue with Evans' game is that he is what many people around the NBA call a "black hole," meaning simply that once you pass him the ball, you aren't likely to ever see it again. He averages an astoundingly low 0.1 assists per game. To put it another way, Evans has recorded just three assists so far this entire season. Three! I repeat: In 328 minutes this season, Reggie "Joker" Evans only has three assists.
He also averages just 13.9 passes per game, which ranks among the league's worst of players who have played in at least 20 contests this year. That makes him a slightly better contributor in the passing game than, say, Anthony Bennett or Ryan Hollins, but it also makes him slightly worse in that regard than players like Jason Maxiell and Pero Antic.
Nobody is expecting him to be throwing dimes like Chris Paul, but these stats show that when Reggie touches the ball, it probably isn't going to end in a bucket. He doesn't pass, he doesn't score (shooting only 41.5% for 2.7 points per game), he doesn't contribute. These stats show that he is a "wormhole" or a total dead end on offense. It allows teams to sag off him defensively and apply more pressure to the other four players on the court.
Evans' skills off the glass are crucial, yes, especially in terms of his offensive rebounding (where he's one of the best in the league) – but the value of his rebounds is significantly mitigated by the fact that he rarely passes out of the paint once he secures the ball like he did last season. Instead, he makes flailing attempts at post moves and throws up low percentage shots after getting these offensive rebounds.
Often on these plays, he draws fouls and gets to the free throw line. This would be great, except for the fact that he's shooting just 54% this year and has shot only 52% from the stripe over his career.
In order for his offensive rebounds to be effective, he needs to maximize on their value by either passing them out to an open man or a ballhandler or by shooting better from the stripe. One of these is a much simpler fix than the other.
Perhaps most dismaying is that when Evans is in, promising rookie Mason Plumlee is out. Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Plumlee did not play, while Evans got 27 minutes. Plumlee is statistically better than Evans in practically every category and makes the most of his opportunities: he shoots 62.5%, good for fifth in the NBA.
Thankfully, Evans averages just 18.2 touches per game, lowest on the team and towards the bottom of the league. This is just as well for the Nets, who must have learned by now that Evans is a "wormhole" offensively as he does not pass and cannot score effectively or efficiently. Jason Kidd and the coaching staff can definitely keep him out of the playbook.