Utah Jazz 2012-13 Preview: Yucca on Jeremy Evans

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

There's no analysis here. I'll leave that to our formal player previews that will come. Not a lot of stats or number crunching either. Just thoughts. Just feelings. Just getting back to writing from the fan side of me—talking about guys I like and guys I don't like; things I hope for and things I fear in the upcoming season.

Jeremy Evans remains the Great Unknown.

Some of his stats, of course, are insane: 64.3% from the field; 4.0 blocks per 36 minutes; Single-digit turnover rate (throwout to the Big Al fans :); 19.6 PER; 131 ORtg (!), 101 DRtg (!); highest win share rate on the team.

But ...

Yes, Jeremy Evans has probably the biggest "But" on the entire team.

He only played 217 minutes over 29 games last year. He played only in a) garbage time or b) Big Al and/or Sap and/or Howard are not suiting up for the game today - time. He shot almost all of his shots at the rim, primarily dunks. And we all know that kind of rate is unsustainable.

After showing an occasional jumper his rookie season, he pretty much abandoned it last year.

But man ... if he could retain that level of play for 20 consistent bench minutes, wouldn't he be one of the best subs in the entire NBA? If he could somehow retain that level of play for 30+ minutes per game, wouldn't he be close to an All-Star?

And so with Jeremy Evans, we're stuck. There's no doubt his production in steady minutes would help the team. Even if he had a downturn in effectiveness given more minutes, he'd still be better than Josh Howard, CJ Miles, Raja Bell, Marvin Williams, and Randy Foye. Heck, he could survive a pretty significant regression and still be a more effective player than Hayward or Burks or Kanter were last year.

As a 100% believer in Hayward/Burks/Kanter, that truth is incredible to contemplate.

And yet what would happen if he got 20 minutes per game?

Would he be pushed away from the basket and never hit a jumper? Would his slight frame suddenly become exploited? Would the block rates, the FG%, everything all come crashing down?

Nobody knows. Nobody will know until he's given that chance.

* * *

I'm definitely pro-Jeremy Evans. Amar calls him a "finisher" and likens his ability to score at the rim to specialist 3-point shooters. His dunk on Gerald Wallace showed that he's a lot stronger than his slight frame sometimes suggests. His blocking and defense were impressive when he got the chance (like the famous March win in LA).

All I can say is I hope he gets a chance.

Because I believe that when he gets a chance, though he probably won't maintain the crazy level he had in such limited time, I believe he'll still be effective. Perhaps more effective than what any logical person would predict.

And I still can't believe this was called an offensive foul. I don't care if it was just a freaking pre-season game.


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