Player Capsules 2012, #313-315: Tyreke Evans, Tony Allen, Nicolas Batum

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the summer dies down and the leaves turn, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last third. But it's certainly not done yet! Today we continue with Tyreke Evans, Tony Allen, and Nicolas Batum.

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Follow Tyreke Evans on Twitter at @TyrekeEvans.

It's really hard to figure out what happened to -- and what SHOULD happen to -- Tyreke Evans going forward. Do you remember his rookie year? There were so many things he did well. So many things! Most notable, to me, was his rookie defense. Yes, his defense. While he wasn't the most effective by the numbers, he was a pretty fun defender to watch back in the day. He looked to me like a potentially great defender his rookie year -- he had a certain amount of swagger to his isolation defensive game, and it portended (to me) flashes of a possible stopper-quality defensive talent down the line. Didn't turn out that way, at least not yet, and that's primarily because his defense has become extremely easy to scout. That intensity, that tenacity, that strong isolation coverage? All of that's pretty darn useless if you don't fight over screens, and chief among all of Tyreke's defensive flaws is his dogged insistence on going under screens and letting his man loose instead of fighting over it and sticking to the man. If Tyreke is dogging a player, all a team really needs to do at this point is set a series of screens. Tyreke will get hopelessly lost, his man will score, and he'll slump his shoulders and try again next time. Only to fare badly on the screen and let his man score again. It's kind of a vicious cycle, when your skills are so easy to thwart on the defensive end.

Offensively, things are more confusing. Evans has never been a particularly impressive presence on the offensive end, even going back to his red hot rookie year. There was never any real outside shot to speak of -- even as a rookie, the man shot only 31% on jump shots, including a dismal 25% from three. That decreased to 30% as a sophomore and 26% as a junior. For Evans to really shine as an offensive player, that has to improve -- if not by improving his actual jump shot (something I'm 90% sure would happen if he had a legitimate shooting coach -- Chip Engelland, anyone?)  then by working hard on a floater or a jump hook and really incorporating that into his game. As it stands, the Tyreke Evans scouting report is about as simplistic as you can get. "Pack the paint, let him shoot from 10-25 feet. He'll miss. Badly." And why not let him shoot it? As a rookie, Evans dove into the teeth of defenses and racked up fouls by the bushel. By dissuading him from doing that, not only have teams effectively neutralized his greatest offensive threat, they've also kept themselves out of foul trouble and kept Tyreke from getting to the line. Which was actually the main place Tyreke's superstar scoring came from, his rookie year -- he had an insanely high FTA/FGA split that year, and that more than anything else was what propped up his shaky shooting into a well-rounded and dangerous offensive whole.

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