Reggie Evans has seen his playing time dwindling lately and a number of fans have noticed. Evans has not played more than 20 minutes in any of the past six games. In Friday’s loss to Indiana, he played just 52 seconds.
During Saturday’s defeat at Washington, he played just under 11 minutes, and was in for 1 minute and 21 seconds of the fourth quarter.
After his brief appearance against Indiana, this reporter asked Maurice Cheeks if he felt he had to sit down and talk to Reggie and explain why he played less than a minute.
Cheeks felt no reason to talk to Evans and said the veteran forward understood that it had to do with matchups. A three-point shooting team like Indiana, which spreads the floor, isn’t a good matchup for Evans, according to Cheeks.
Evans for his part says he has no injury problems and he has not complained publicly about the decreased playing time.
Another reason his minutes have been down, especially the last two games is that Thaddeus Young has been playing well. And had Young not picked up his fourth foul with under five minutes left in the third quarter against Washington, Evans may have received even less time.
As mentioned in a post to the blog by Dean, Evans does bring energy and intangibles to the team. And while it’s agreed that he is a 20-24 minute a game player, it’s tough to take Young out when he is also being so productive.
Even if people wanted to put Young at small forward when Andre Iguodala rests, there still wouldn’t be many minutes there. Iguodala has played 42 or more minutes in six of the last seven games. And Iguodala would have played more minutes against Indiana had he not been hurt.Evans has also played center when the Sixers go to a small lineup, but again, Samuel Dalembert has been logging major minutes, so there aren’t as many opportunities.
If the Sixers end up playing Detroit in the playoffs, one would expect Evans to play more minutes because of the physical nature of the Pistons.
Nobody can argue that Evans, despite his troubles on offense, has been a major upgrade over Steven Hunter.Evans has brought toughness and leadership to the team, but it is harder to lead when you’re not playing as much.It’s easy to say he should get more minutes, but the game has to dictate that. If the Sixers are behind in the fourth quarter, it’s hard to have Evans out there if they need offense.
Still, Evans has the ability to give the team a spark either as a starter or reserve. With his playoff experience, it would make sense that he will see a few extra minutes in the postseason