Reggie Evans quietly has career night, fans loudly appreciate

With the game slipping out of their grasp, the Washington Wizards employed a tried-and-true tactic to try to will their way back into Friday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets — Hack-A-Reggie.

Even when he didn’t have the ball, the in-the-bonus Wizards intentionally fouled Reggie Evans — shooting 50.4% from the free throw line on the season — five times in 62 seconds, hoping to trade off enough missed free throws to cut into a fifteen-point lead.

On his first four trips to the line, Evans shot just 1-8, giving the Wizards a sliver of hope. But with arguably the loudest ovation Barclays Center has seen yet behind him — one that got louder with each trip he took to the line — Evans hit his final two free throws, giving the Nets a 16-point lead with 4:04 left and sending the arena into an utter frenzy.

In a game completely overshadowed by Deron Williams’ record-setting performance — nine three-pointers in one half, eleven total, and nearly four times as many points as any of his teammates — Evans arguably had the best game of his career. While fans have called for Evans’s removal from the starting lineup, and there are sound, numbers-based ways to make that case, Evans responded, scoring 11 points on a variety of post moves and layups and finishing with a career-high 24 rebounds in 32 minutes.

“It was exciting,” a fatigued, accomplished Evans said after the game about the chants. “It was exciting. I was happy. I was just mad on the inside but I was enjoying the moment, whether I missed it or made it. I was just excited.”

(So yes, he was excited.)

The Nets didn’t get expected scoring from All-Star center Brook Lopez, nor did guard Joe Johnson put up his expected production. But when the Nets needed a basket, it was Evans who gave them a shocking boost.

“Twice in the game, we were in a drought, dying for a basket, and two times (Evans) gave us a basket,” Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo commented after the game. “I didn’t think he was good, I thought he was exceptional.”

Comments

  1. Obviously DWill kind of put this game away in the first quarter with the threes. The Wiz hung around but they had had the stuffing knocked out of them. But yes this is why Reggie still starts. His rebounding was dominate. And while he had a terrible night at the line, he got it together in the end. He has been in something of a slump since the All Star break, but PJ sticking with him has resulted in him having two great games in a row.

    1. 2 great games against 2 awful teams. everybody looks at the overall numbers but they don’t look at he does while on the court. I don’t think i’m exaggerating when I say half his rebounds were stolen from his own teammates. and even though he had his good moments on offense yesterday, how many times does he shoot airballs, get blocked or get a 3 sec. violation on offense?
      I Love Reggie I really do, but he should never play more than 20 mins…
      another thing lost in the nooise last night, Tele got 8 rebounds…If Tele can rebound like that… whats stopping him from getting more min?

  2. If Tele could rebound like that consistently, than yes he should get more minutes. However, he doesn’t. He wasn’t a huge rebounder in Europe and he has been a below average rebounder so far this season. While on a per minute basis, Reggie is leading the league or at least very close (his RBD% of 24.8% (that is grabbing nearly a quarter of all missed shots while on the court) is highest in the league, Teletovic is an awful 11.4%).

    Reggie has some serious weaknesses to his game. Sure. And his defensive rebounding stats are slightly padded by teammates who defer to him. But I think there is a synergy that could happen between DWill and JJ providing the brains and skills and Reggie providing the muscle and hustle that make him well suited to play with our higher skill starters. If you put Teletovic on the floor, he will shoot the ball and shoot it a lot. So those shots are going to come from the other players and he has been less consistent than just about anyone on the team so far.