Nets rebounding demon Reggie Evans no longer an offensive liability

Nets forward Reggie Evans, left, is fouled while Nets forward Reggie Evans, left, is fouled while shooting by Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard during the first quarter. (March 27, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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DENVER -- Reggie Evans has been on a roll lately, and he said there is a simple explanation.

The veteran Nets forward said he overheard a teammate complain to coach P.J. Carlesimo during a recent game and request that Evans be taken out because of his deficiencies as an offensive player. Evans declined to identify the teammate.

"I got frustrated when one of my teammates went to my coach and told him to take me out of the game, and bit my tongue," Evans said after tying a career high with 22 points and setting a career high with 26 rebounds in a 111-93 win over the Trail Blazers Wednesday night. "I didn't say nothing to him."

So rather than escalate the situation, Evans elected to approach it in a different fashion.

"Me knowing me, I usually attack and say something," Evans said. "I bit my tongue and I said, 'OK. I'll start being aggressive.'

"So I took it [as] a positive instead of just doing my normal 'What'd you say? What'd you say?' " Evans said, his voice rising. "So I just did my best to take whatever the defense gives me, but not go outside of that, not trying to be like, 'Oh, I need to do this and get 10, 15 points a game.' Whatever the defense gives me, just take advantage of it."

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Evans notched his fifth double-double of the season against the Blazers. That performance was the latest in a flurry of impressive outings.

In his last 10 games, he's averaging 8.6 points and 16.4 rebounds. That aggressive mentality is helping.

"He's one of the hardest workers on this team, hands down," Deron Williams said. "So we are never worried about that being an issue and [Wednesday], he just carried us. We fed off of him early . . . He just took the life out of them. He took the life out of the building, the energy in the building, just with his offensive rebounds alone."

Evans can't see clearly out of either eye at the moment, making his numbers from the past week even more impressive. He's dealing with a virus that spread from his right eye to his left, causing pain and blurring his vision. Eye drops and a special pill help mask the pain, but Evans is preparing to deal with this for at least another week.

"If it was golf, I would think it would be a problem," Carlesimo joked. "But basketball is a pretty big ball. He can see the basketball. And that's all he's got to see. It helps his shot. He can shoot it better."

That's what he's been doing since overhearing the criticism from his teammate, and the opposition might want to take notice.

"I'm going to do my best to be aggressive,'' Evans said, "so if they respect me, cool."

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