Simply put, Reggie Evans is a rebounding machine. Evans is an undrafted player out of Iowa that has had to scrap and claw his way into and around the NBA. His game and mindset is simple – stay in the paint and rebound the ball.
The problem with Evans is that he is a liability on offense and it is hurting the Nets with him in the starting lineup and getting extended minutes. On the offensive end, the Nets are playing 5-on-4 at times with Evans on the floor.
Evans knows this is becoming a problem and is looking to change.
Evans let out a deep sigh, one with the same kind of force that he uses to hone in on a rebound.
“It’s been like that for years,” said Evans, a 10-year veteran who’s averaging 9.3 rebounds. “There have been no complaints at all as far as me in the past with other teams, because people thrived and were like, ‘With you, I’ve got opportunities to shoot it.’ So I see things are starting to be a little different. So I don’t know. Maybe I do need to start shooting the ball.”
“You’ve still got to worry about me getting offensive rebounds,” Evans said, “but things are different now because I’m doing the same things over and over and over, compared to earlier in the season, when I may go to the middle and I may have a rotation pass to the corner or hit Joe [Johnson] for a pass or whatever.
“Now I’m just going under the basket every single time, so that’s easy to scout. Instead of doing something different, I’m doing the same things over and over and over.”
John Paolantonio, ContributorI am one person who has been against this Reggie Evans starting at power forward experiment since it began. Evans is a career bench/role player and he has been productive in that role for the last 10 years.
P.J. Carlesimo placed Evans into the starting lineup to give them some nastiness and rebounding that they thought they could not get from Brook Lopez. Lopez has since proved to be a much better defender and rebounder. Kris Humphries lost his job to Evans after posting back-to-back double-double seasons for the injury riddled New Jersey Nets and has yet to fight to get the job back.
The experiment has taken its course and a change is needed. The Nets cannot continue to play 5-on-4 any longer when Evans cannot make simple layups and putbacks while being called for multiple 3-second violations every game.
It is well known that Carlesimo is not a fan of smaller lineups at all and has routinely shot down the idea of starting Gerald Wallace at the power forward. Most teams in today’s NBA are going with the smaller power forwards to be able to handle the quickness of the league’s smaller forwards.
I think the Nets best starting lineup is Lopez-Wallace-Johnson-Brooks-Williams due to the amount of offense and matchup problems it can cause other teams. I would even be in favor of Lopez and Andray Blatche playing alongside one another for extended periods of the game, maybe not starting, as Blatche played the power forward position for years in Washington.
Mirza Teletovic has been told he will get more playing time to showcase his skillset so maybe he can alter Carlesimo’s mindset a bit and make the decision for him and sit Evans down and bring him off the bench.
This black hole of ineffectiveness at the power forward position must change now for the Nets to have a chance at home court in the playoffs.