Relentless Reggie Evans Helps Nets Rebound
After a decade of playing for six different NBA franchises, Reggie Evans – the man best known for his prolific rebounding – is having arguably the best season of his career with the Brooklyn Nets. Now, with Brook Lopez on the shelf and Kris Humphries coming off the bench, Evans has been getting his chance to start for the Nets and as usual, he has been taking full advantage of his opportunities. In his three consecutive starts, Evans has 38 rebounds.
“He had 18 last night [against New York],” said Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. “I first brought Reggie into the league back in Seattle and I know what Reggie can do and how tough he is to box out. Guards and everybody else will have an opportunity to box him out.”
With the Raptors focused on boxing out Evans on nearly every play, they did manage to hold him to 11 boards, but the Nets took advantage with the long ball in the third quarter to squeeze out the victory.
As has been the case everywhere Evans has played, his teammates have taken notice of the effort Evans puts into his craft. Evans believes every shot hoisted by either team is going to miss and that ball belongs to him. So far this season, an amazing one in four available rebounds seems to find its way into Evans’ hands when he’s on the court.
“It is just being relentless,” Joe Johnson said. “[Evans] treats every shot like a missed shot, so that gives him an opportunity to rebound the basketball. He has been giving us that toughness, that energy on both ends of the floor that is needed night in and night out. Every night, you know what he is going to bring regardless of what the score is or who we are playing. That’s something that I love.”
For Evans, this really isn’t anything new. Although his lack of offensive production has limited him to just over 19 minutes per game during his career, his career rebounding rate is higher than that of Dwight Howard.
“Just do what I’ve been doing,” Evans said. “Just rebound the ball and play defense. Get my team into it and be a leader. I am getting older, so I am a veteran now. Show a good example to the young guys and be a great role model representing that NBA and Brooklyn logo and treat it first class. Be that guy they can always rely on no matter what the circumstances are. You don’t have to worry about Reggie, Reggie is going to be there for his teammates on and off the court.”
It is all about the team for Evans. After his big, 18-rebound effort against the Knicks, Evans was actually getting upset for being congratulated about his personal success after a loss.
“I just want to win,” Evans said. “My main thing is coming in to win. Whatever it takes so I can win, I’d be happy. [Tuesday], so many people were calling me to talk about what I did individually, but I was just hanging up in everybody’s face. I was kind of getting [peeved] because everybody was talking about my individual accomplishment not realizing that we just lost the game.”
The relentless Evans leads the Nets in rebounding with 8.8 boards per game in just 21.3 minutes of playing time. That’s 1.3 more boards than Humphries and at least two boards more than anyone else. He knows his role and puts his full effort into getting the ball back to his teammates. He has taken fewer than two shots per game on average this year.
Evans helped the Nets rebound out of a five-game skid on the road in Toronto and the reliable veteran will do whatever it takes to help his team win more games in the future. The Nets don’t have to worry about Evans; he is going to be there for his teammates.