Three games into the season, Toronto’s Reggie Evans has 49 rebounds. And an attitude. He had that chip on his shoulder before, actually, in a drive that took him the junior-college route to Iowa to going undrafted to carving out a lengthy career as a 6-foot-8 power player, only now it flares as people try to compliment him.
That must have been a lot of energy built up from playing only 28 games last season, mostly because of a sprained foot. Plus, the Raptors drafted 6-10 Ed Davis in the lottery. And then Toronto nearly traded Evans, along with Jose Calderon, to Charlotte for Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw, before the Bobcats pulled the plug. Maybe it was just time to send out a little reminder of his value.
Oct. 27 against the Knicks – 16 rebounds.
Oct. 29 against the Cavaliers – 14 rebounds.
Nov. 1 at the Kings – 19 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end.
Great start. Just don’t suggest as much to Evans, who bristled upon being asked if he can maintain anything close to this production as all the Raptors look to make a statement in their post-Chris Bosh world.
“Go look at my track history, man,” Evans responded. “Seriously. I’ve been rebounding all my life.”
But that’s a big total for three games, someone suggested. It is hardly typical of past production.
“I’ve been rebounding all my life,” Evans said. “I just don’t get minutes. That’s the difference. I’m getting minutes now. Look me up.”
Looked him up, we did. In 542 games with the SuperSonics, Nuggets, 76ers and Raptors before 2010-11, he one rebound every 2.85 minutes. This season, he heads into Wednesday at Utah grabbing one every 1.94 minutes. Evans is close enough to right to make his stand accurate, especially knowing, undoubtedly, that he finished in the top 10 in boards-per-48 minutes for six consecutive seasons, before the foot injury ended the streak last campaign.
It’d probably be a surprise to some people from the outside, but not for myself,” he said of the start of 49 rebounds in three games. “I know I worked hard to get to this point, where I can kind of feel like my old self again and stuff like that. So I’m not surprised at all.”
He knows his history.