Although the terrible news that Brook Lopez will miss the rest of the season with a broken right foot surfaced on Saturday, there is one silver lining for the Brooklyn Nets. Coach Jason Kidd will likely insert the hardworking Reggie Evans back into the rotation as a result, and the veteran forward will certainly make the most of the opportunity.
When Evans entered Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Wizards, the Barclays Center crowd made it clear that they were ecstatic to see him out on the floor. Blue-collar players seem harder to come by than ever in the NBA, but the Nets are fortunate enough to have one of the best in the business in Evans.
However, after being an outstanding rebounder last season with an average of 11.1 per game in just under 26 minutes a night, Evans has fallen out of the rotation in favor of Kevin Garnett and rookie Mason Plumlee.
While there’s no question that Garnett and Plumlee bring much more offensive firepower to the table than Evans, who specializes in doing the dirty work, grittiness is the one thing that Brooklyn truly lacks on a nightly basis. Evans brought plenty of that last season when he replaced the embattled Kris Humphries in the starting lineup, and it was much appreciated by the fan base.
But, it’s highly unfortunate that it would take an injury of this sort of magnitude to get Evans back on the floor consistently. His work ethic and pure toughness are qualities that should’ve made him at least a significant bench contributor.