Unnamed Nets teammate wanted Reggie Evans benched, Evans responded with career month

Reggie Evans, Blake Griffin

AP

Brooklyn Nets starting power forward Reggie Evans has been no stranger to criticism — his otherworldly rebounding acumen and solid defensive understanding aside, Evans’s offensive struggles have been well-documented here and elsewhere — but it appears that criticism spread to the bench earlier this season, when a teammate asked Carlesimo to remove Evans from the game — and Evans overheard:

“I got frustrated one day when one of my teammates told my coach to take me out the game. I bit my tongue. I didn’t say nothing to (my teammate),” Evans said.

“But me, knowing me, I usually attack and say something. I bit my tongue. I said, ‘Ok.’ I said, ‘Alright, start being aggressive.’ So I took it in a positive way, instead of just doing my normal self, like ‘What you say? What you say?”

It’s not clear just when this issue arose — it doesn’t appear that Evans gave a date and time — or who the teammate is, but if it caused Evans to be more aggressive, chances are it happened around the beginning of March: since the month began, Evans has racked up 50% shooting on 68 field goal attempts, 7.3 points and 15.5 rebounds per game, and an unthinkable 32.6% rebound rate (including an unbelievable 44.2% defensive rebounding rate — in essence, four out of every nine chances for a Nets defensive rebound, Reggie Evans has gobbled it up, over the course of an entire month).

Evans currently leads the league in 20-rebound games with seven. The Nets are 6-1 in those games. If Evans maintains his current rebound rate of 25.9% and gets enough minutes to qualify, it would rank as the 5th-best rebounding season in NBA history and make him the only player ever other than Dennis Rodman to finish a season with a rebound rate over 24.1%. His defensive rebounding rate of 36.1% would rank as the third-best season of all time, again behind only two Dennis Rodman seasons.

As for Evans, it’s no secret that he tends to let his mouth get ahead of him — he’s compared Rajon Rondo to a mosquito, LeBron James to Andray Blatche & Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams to fish grease just this season alone — so to see him show some willed, conscious restraint with a teammate is a bit surprising. If the comment has helped motivate Evans into his best month as a Brooklyn Nets player, then all the better.

Read More: New York Daily News — Reggie Evans attributes recent turnaround to insult from anonymous Brooklyn Nets teammate

Comments

  1. Nice to point out the rebound rate. It isn’t a stat must folks look at, but it is much better than rebounds per game as that is effected by things like minutes played, pace of play, and how many misses there are in your games (you can’t rebound until either your team or the other team misses a shot). This rebound rate is historic stuff. You can claim a few of these rebounds are padded (and certainly his own team gets out of his way (either out of respect or fear of getting trampled)). But he is a rebounding force even if you shave one or two off per game. And now he has decided he can score as well. Like a switch was flipped somewhere. Hopefully he doesn’t try to lead a fast break again anytime soon. But this Reggie is darn good. Couple him with Lopez and Blatche and the big men situation looks better than Brooklyn had any cause to hope for at the beginning of the season.

  2. Its great for Reggie and the Nets that he is having a career month and all but I shudder to think that coaching staff and fans alike think this is a permanent thing. I’m not trying to be negative but that teammate was right, he did need to be benched. Hopefully when he falls down from his high (and he will fall down, you don’t play 12 years and then all of a sudden at the age of 32 figure it out.) the coaches wont take too long to make changes but I have no faith that this coaching staff will do that.