Sixer-by-Sixer 07/08 breakdown: Reggie Evans
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on May 25, 2008
Smart guidoish reading tip: guys, fine Sixers blog Recliner GM is doing another player-by-player analysis of the past season. Only difference, Dannie’s posts are way better than mine (LOL).
Seriously, make sure to check them out, so far Recliner GM covered Sam Dalembert, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Andre Miller, it’s interesting to see when we share the same thoughts about our players (most of the times) and where our views differ (sometimes, but here it’s when the best discussions are generated). Anyway, it’s always worth reading them I think, as Sixers coverage is never enough for real fans.
Time to take a look at one of Sixers4guidos’ favorite players, forward Reggie Evans.
Being right on something hoops-related happens to me so rarely, then when it does, I like to remind it and brag a little bit: I was a fan of Reggie Evans since Day 1. Pretty cool, uh?
OVERALL EFFICIENCY AND RATE
Evans had a heck of a season in my opinion, and was a key contributor in building that “never give up” attitude that was a Sixers’ trademark this year, and one of the things that fans appreciated the most.
Reggie is a player whose efficiency goes beyond the numbers, and that it would be stupid to judge looking at his stats, or only at them. Boxscores never tell the energy he brings, the example he is for his team mates, the boost that he provides to the team and the crowd. Not coincidentially, by the end of the year he had a remarkable amount of groupies fans at the Wachovia center, who formed a sort of “Reggie’s corner” inside the building. This is an example:
My overall rate for Evans this year is 8 - scale is from 1 to 10, being 10 the top – , and I don’t give a damn that his field goal percentage dropped from 54% to 44% (even if a -10% in a year is really awful, LOL). Let’s see why.
WHAT HE DID WELL
Everything he was brought in Philly for: rebounding, first, defense, second, + all the aforementioned “unmeasureable”, “little” things (that many times make your team win the basketball game…). Evans is perhaps the best offensive rebounder in the League, and the extra possessions he gave us were money in a team that had serious struggles scoring in half court offense.
Whether he was starting (61 games) or coming off the bench (the remaining 20), Reggie has been damn consistent all year. His production actually improved when Cheeks started alternating him and Thaddeus Young in the initial line up: that little fire lighted under his ass made him even angrier, and all the team benefited.
Numbers tell us that Reggie set a career high in steals (1.1) and a career low in free throws (46.7%, “capping” a constant drop that came to the fourth consecutive season…). The 1.000 in three point percentage should tell Cheeks to run more plays for him, or that he should be the man coming off the picks, and not setting them. Or, more realistically, that the only shot made from behind the arc in his career – an unbelievable fallaway jumper at Boston – will be a nice story to tell his sons after retirement.
Evans is undersized for a PF (listed at 6’8, this means he’s 6’7 at best…) and has to face taller opponents every night, but he’s so strong and fiery that he can play some tough defense on basically all big men. He even guarded Shaq very well in a memorable W at Phoenix, a decisive turning point during Sixers’ 07/08 season.
His quick hands and sense of position help him too: it’s difficult to push him or bounce him. Evans is the kind of role player that coaches like, and that will always find suitors. He simply has to be used properly (see below).
WHAT HE DID WRONG
He took too many shots, basically, ant that led to the pathetic 43.9% from the field I mentioned. But don’t blame him. Or not only him.
The origin of this “fault” is that in THIS Sixers team he “had” to start for most of the year. The other solutions at PF were simply too risky (=Jason Smith) or unrealistic (=Randolph, Amundson etc), and the fact that Thaddeus Young lately blossomed at that spot – that isn’t his – has to be considered a success in a huge bet, and was a surprise for all of us (GM and coach included, for their own admissions).
Attentive Sixers fans will remember that at the beginning of the year the team used to play 2-3 isolations per game for Evans (!!) , clearly a reward for what he was doing on our half court. The results of those plays were usually bricks, blocked shots or turnovers, and that affected his numbers (and the team’s offense, of course). Later in the season, Cheeks fortunately cut this dumb habit, and Evans’ efficiency raised.
He will never be a good finisher, though, he’s not athletic and his shooting touch is horrible: the fact that he’s righthanded but his most “effective” shot is the left handed layup/hook speaks volumes about his offensive “skills”. But, again, we don’t care, he’s there for other purposes.
I won’t even start covering his free throw woes: his 3/13 from the line in the home W vs Milwaukee is up there in an ideal “Olympus of bricks” and it brought back sweet Chris Dudley memories…. too funny !!
THIS SUMMER WORK ON…
Uhm… free throws? And getting taller, yes, that would help.
WHAT TO DO WITH HIM
Keep him of course, and use him in the best way: as 7th-8th man off the bench, for a good 24-26 minutes of that “blue collar Sixers basketball” that I like so much. He won’t like to sit, and he will play better.
Evans, who just turned 28 y/o, is signed for three more years for a total of 14.6 millions, and with current NBA standards I would say that is even a steal. Anyway, I stand with my statement that finding a team willing to trade for him will never be a problem. He’s a good asset in any case, that’s my point.
Give me a Reggie Evans any day !!
HEY, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW REGGIE ??? I REALLY LIKE YOU, MAN !!!!
(up next: Sam Dalembert)