One of the criticisms of the Brooklyn Nets coming into the 2012-2013 NBA season was that they were a star-heavy team and that their non-stars would drag them down. Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez were and still are the focus of the Nets, but Reggie Evans, who most would say is not a star, has done anything but drag the Nets down lately.
Evans has always been known for his unbelievable production in the rebounding department, which has somewhat earned him the reputation of being a specialist in that area. Someone forgot to tell Evans that, though, after he put up 26 rebounds and 22 points on Wednesday night in Brooklyn’s victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
In the aftermath of that fantastic game, Evans came out and said that he had some extra motivation fueling him to play that way. From Feb. 19 to March 15, Evans was struggling mightily offensively. Over the 12 games in that span, he averaged just 3.8 points per game and shot an atrocious 36.4 percent from the field.
Because of his offensive woes, some of his teammates reportedly asked for Evans to be benched. That is apparently what is fueling Evans to play so well now.
Evans isn’t an offensive juggernaut, and he’s never going to be that. After all, this is a player who has averaged just 4.1 points per game for his entire career. However, over his last five games, Evans has averaged 8.6 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting. If he’s able to give the Nets that type of production on offense, it completely justifies keeping him on the floor, especially considering his elite rebounding ability.
As Brooklyn heads toward the postseason, they need Evans to continue to play with this kind of inspiration and motivation. He’s obviously going to be able to grab a ton of rebound because that’s what he is best at doing. If he’s able to put even just a few points on the board per game, though, he will be incredibly valuable down the stretch.