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Tyreke Tuesdays: Evans is still learning the game

Posted by rc360 on March 8, 2010

With four games played in March, Sacramento Kings rookie guard Tyreke Evans is still producing, despite his team losing three of the last four games to playoff-bound teams.

Evans put up 17.5 points, 4.75 rebounds, 5.75 assists and 1.75 steals per game since March 2.

He had had a team-high 27 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that has the sixth-best record in the Western Conference.  The Thunder’s defense tightened up late in the game, securing a 113-107 home win over the Kings.

Oklahoma City’s top two players, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, combined for 69 points.

The next night, the Kings were in Houston to play the Rockets in the second game of a back-to-back set.

Evans had nine points, eight rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in an 84-81 win over the Houston Rockets. Shane Battier, one of the league’s premier defensive players, defended Evans very well. Battier had a career-high seven blocks, blocking four of Evans’ shots.  Evans’ 18.2 percent shooting that game was the worst of his rookie season.

Both teams had forgettable shooting nights.  The Kings shot 32 percent from the field while the Rockets shot 39 percent. Carl Landry, playing his first game at Houston since being traded from the Rockets, had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Evans had 20 points (nine in the fourth quarter) and six assists against the Dallas Mavericks, helping to cut a 15-point deficit to two points. Unfortunately, he had a crucial turnover before the Mavericks went on a 6-0 run to close out the game 108-100, winning its 10th-straight game.

Returning home to Sacramento, Evans had 24 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals in a 108-102 loss to the Thunder, which was similar to the loss in Dallas.

The road doesn’t get that much easier for Evans. He will face three-time all-star for the Portland Trail Blazers Brandon Roy tonight at Portland and at home on Friday.  After his second game against Roy a week from now, he’ll face Kobe Bryant when the Los Angeles Lakers visit next Tuesday.

The RekeROY Rally, Evans’ rally for NBA Rookie of the Year, will take place at ARCO Arena when the Toronto Raptors come in Wednesday night and the Minnesota Timberwolves will visit on Sunday.

Evans has shown this week that he makes mistakes like any other rookie.  He’s only 20 years old, and he’ll still be learning to be a point guard, one of the most difficult positions in the NBA. It was a little more than a year ago when Memphis Tigers Head Coach John Calipari switched Evans to the point guard position after playing shooting guard.

He’s shown that he can be a go-to player when a big shot is needed on more than one occasion – most recently against the Utah Jazz.  He’s also shown all season that he can be an all-around player for many years to come with superstar potential.

He’s on pace to finish with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.  The only other rookies who have finished with those numbers are LeBron James and hall-of-famers Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson.

By learning from the mistakes he makes, he’ll make strides to propel the Kings to success in the future.

Click here to read the story on Sacramento Press.

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