The term “offensive liability” has followed the Nets’ Reggie Evans for his entire pro career. A great rebounder and defender, Evans’ lack of offense has made his career nothing short of an enigma. How does a player who hits the boards and defends like Evans not have a permanent place in the NBA?
The Nets are Evan’s sixth team in 10 seasons. Even with his offensive limitations, you’d figure some team would have made Evans a part of its core. That hasn’t been the case in past seasons for the former University of Iowa standout, but it is now.
Evans has earned his way into the top of the Nets rotation, forcing Kris Humphries to the bench. Evans had 17 points, 24 rebounds and three steals in Tuesday’s 104-83 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Barclays Center. It was Evans’ fourth double-double in his last seven games.The 6-foot-8 forward had season highs of 22 points and 26 rebounds in a win at Portland on March 27 and 14 points and 20 rebounds in a win over Charlotte last Saturday. Evans had a simple explanation for his recent offensive tear. “It’s just people double-teaming Joe and double-teaming Deron and basically leaving me [open]. I have to do my best to try and give the team something,” he said.
P.J. Carlesimo attributed Evans’ recent offensive efficiency to his decision- making.
“He’s cashing in on a lot of those extra possessions that he gets us,” said Carlesimo. “When he gets the ball on an offensive rebound–usually on an offensive rebound and in the paint when he’s somewhere close–his decision making now is really good when it’s appropriate to kick it out and when it’s appropriate to try and take it to the basket.”
It would be a stretch to think that Evans could keep up this offensive production for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, but he should, at the very least, force teams to pay more attention to him.