Reggie Evans impacting fantasy playoffs
On Tuesday, Reggie Evans needed only three quarters to amass 24 rebounds against the Philadelphia 76ers. It marked the fifth time in his past 12 games that Evans has accumulated 20 boards or more. He is averaging 17.8 rebounds over this span.
I couldn't help but wonder, and it turns out it's been 20 years since an NBA player has averaged more than 17.8 rebounds over an entire season. In 1992-93, Dennis Rodman put up 18.3 boards in his final season with the Detroit Pistons.
So yeah, it's easy to see why during the past couple of months Evans gone from a deep-league flier to a mainstream fantasy force. He makes the most sense in roto formats, since over the final few weeks of the season roster decisions are typically based on categorical needs. However, seeing that, as of Tuesday, Evans was on a roster in 80 percent of ESPN.com leagues, he is being added in a majority of head-to-head formats as well.
It will be interesting to see where Evans goes in drafts this fall. I wouldn't take him at any point, since I'm leery of one-category guys in general. (To me, Ryan Anderson is kind of the Reggie Evans of 3-pointers.) There's also the fact that, to get all those boards, you sacrifice free throw percentage. Since the break, Evans is shooting just 53.4 percent from the line on 3.7 attempts per game. That's not Dwight Howard-level carnage by any means, but playing close to 30 minutes a night, Evans gets to the stripe enough to matter.
But what matters now is fantasy championships, and Evans is undoubtedly playing a role in a fair number of those.
• Jonas Valanciunas spent the night in a Chicago hospital after being carted off the court at the end of the Toronto Raptors' win over the Chicago Bulls. After a jump ball, Valanciunas apparently injured his neck in a collision with teammate Rudy Gay. The rookie's neck was placed in a brace before he was removed from the court.
• As for the game itself, with Luol Deng (hip) sitting out, Jimmy Butler played all 48 minutes and recorded a career-high 28 points. You don't need to understand usage rates to see Butler's fantasy value at the moment. The second-year pro is averaging 43 minutes a night over his past nine games.
• Metta World Peace was expected to miss six weeks following knee surgery. Instead, he missed only six games. It's tough to imagine him having much fantasy value over the final week of the season, though. MWP was limited to just four points and 15 minutes played against the New Orleans Hornets.
• After shooting just 23.5 percent (12-of-51) in his previous three games, Kyrie Irving went 10-of-20 in a 29-point effort against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. But he could be held out Wednesday when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Pistons. Irving rested April 1 against the Atlanta Hawks, the last time the Cavs played on consecutive nights.
• Beno Udrih is the most popular add in ESPN.com leagues, and while Jameer Nelson (ankle) hasn't been ruled out for the season, there's no word on when or if he'll return. So expect Udrih to start again when the Orlando Magic host the Milwaukee Bucks. In his past five games, he is averaging 18.2 points, 7.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 3s and 1.8 steals.
• Chris Bosh (illness) didn't play Tuesday and isn't expected to accompany the Miami Heat when they visit the Washington Wizards. Dwyane Wade (ankle) will be with the team but seems unlikely to play. LeBron James should go, though following Tuesday's shootaround he said he will sit out some games prior to the playoffs.
• Josh Smith, Al Horford and Kyle Korver are expected to play when the Hawks visit the 76ers. All three were rested in Atlanta's previous game against the San Antonio Spurs on April 6, and Smith has apparently been dealing with a knee problem.