At 32 years old and not in the best physical shape that one could hope for, there are questions as to why the Brooklyn Nets ever signed forward Reggie Evans. These questions can be easily answered by looking back at what Evans was able to do last year for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Neither his 2 PPG nor his 5 RPG from last season are accurate when examining how much of an impact Evans made every time he was on the floor. For some player in the league, stats show little to nothing about them.
Take Shane Battier for example, who was an integral part of the Miami Heat championship roster this past season. Although Battier only averaged 7 points and 3 rebounds a game during the postseason, he saw 33 minutes of action every night, including 38 minutes a game during the NBA Finals.
Evans is similar to Battier in this regard, as he didn’t impress statistically (3.3 PPG in the first round of the playoffs), yet saw the court 22 minutes a game. When you take into account that Evans is backing up All-Star Blake Griffin and human highlight reel DeAndre Jordan, these 22 minutes become a lot more impressive.
Which leads us to think: why? Why is it that players like Battier and Evans leave the game with virtually no stats, yet play a good portion of the game, night in and night out?
The underlying factor behind all of this is defense. At any level of play- middle school, high school, AAU, college, or professional, a player who can play defense will see minutes. While Battier is famous for his stellar defense, Evans is more low-profile, although, he too, finds ways to make an impact every play defensively. And that’s exactly what he will bring to the Nets this season.
Despite being one of the top offensive teams last season, the Nets struggled defensively. With the addition of Evans, the Nets have a presence down low that will undoubtedly alter shots.
Plus being one of the best floppers in the league doesn’t hurt either.