Aggressiveness - thy name is Reggie Evans! It actually is - in anagram form. Rearrange the letters and there you have it. OK - so you need to add an s or three to make it work. So use the ones that all the kids are replacing with zeds, and we’re good. Reggie Evanssss baby - he don’t need no z!
The guy worked hard to get his game back after he destroyed his foot last year. He even gave up his beloved candy to get the pounds off. It would be nice if he could prove to be an example to a player or two for whatever time he has left here. And I have to say that I’m glad that he is here for now, even though I was very disappointed when the Chandler deal failed to be completed.
I can only hope that some of the aggressiveness rubs off on Ed Davis. Maybe the rook can be well “advised”. Perhaps Reggie can put the young man in his “Dad Vise”. Whatever it takes to make sure the kid’s career doesn’t start off with something that looks like a “sad dive”.
Meanwhile DeMar seems to have taken notice. He doesn’t yet have the flow of testosterone that would lead to Reggie’s type of “mad razor need”, but he is getting to the line and keeping defenses on their toes by keeping all the “drama rezoned” to the paint. That aggressive drive and dunk at the end of the game in Sacramento was exactly what I would hope for the future. It was clutch. It was effective. And it was fearless, particularly when considering how hard he had been fouled by Carl Landry earlier. The kid would seem to have much more backbone than back-down in him. If he can translate that fully to his game on the defensive end, then this team’s fortunes could make a turn to the upside by this time next year.
And then there is Andrea Bargnani, taking about as much of Reggie’s style of play to heart as could be expected of “a bra and grannie”. Of course that won’t stop him from being used as an “arena brand gain”, but in the long run, this guy that refuses to do what is needed to win games is just giving us a “barren angina ad” where aggressive play should be making hearts go boom the right way. If there are going to be any overall positives for this team, whither it be in wins or losses, then they are going to come from aggressive play from everyone.
It’s a fundamental aspect of the game - one guy letting up will bring the rest down. You might argue that the combination of Reggie and Andrea works out wonderfully well. It’s a team game right? Smooth out the weaknesses of each with the strengths of the other. But as much as Andrea’s shooting makes up for Reggie’s inability to do so, Reggie carries his own on the offensive end with those picks and rebounds. Meanwhile on the other end we get to see Reggie locking down a guy like Landry in a crucial moment of the fourth quarter, and forcing him into a bad shot from the elbow, but only to have to follow Landry on the miss, and battle Sacramento’s entire front court for the rebound alone, while Bargnani watches from behind the whole play. That was just one glaring example of inexcusable teamwork where what is lacking can not be made up by anybody not named il mago. There was also a missed opportunity to take a charge after a ball that Reggie had knocked loose was dug out of the corner and thrown to a King player cutting into the paint where Andrea was caught flat-footed and flailing at air. There were a few times where a lack of boxing out allowed for Kings points where only a stop should have happened.
Clearly anything that might have rubbed off on Andrea where Reggie’s aggressive play was concerned, was converted only to offensive play. And even there it only lasted for the first half. Come crunch time Andrea was getting rid of the ball as if it was a hot potato. There he was in his favorite spot behind the arc. The ball is passed out to him. Amir had come out there to set a pick for him, but realized that Andrea was wide open and so he looked for him to take the shot and got ready to get back on defense. But Bargnani decides that Amir from 25 feet out is the best option and passes the ball off to him. And there was the biggest part of our frontcourt, alone behind the arc without any sense of what to do next, seceding the paint to the opposition no matter what might come to develop. On the other end Bargnani would fail to box out Cousins and give up the foul to allow the Kings to gain a five-point edge. Then, and only then, would Bargnani decide to show some sort of aggression, by launching a three that would be too little and too late. The white flag had already been waved on possession after possession on both ends of the court. No matter how you spell it, that’s no way to to win.
Now of course, had Bargnani been benched for the game, the Raptors likely would have lost all the same. But there would not have been any white flags waved with the likes of Reggie and DeMar offering resistance and making the Kings work on defense. Maybe Cousins would have had a big night, but at least it would have been off of strong play, and not just gimme points after being left alone to grab offensive rebounds. It’s time to stop putting the future in the hands of “a banana grinder”! Look, see, and play like Reggie Evanssss, Mr. Mago, and then we’ll have a chance of getting somewhere. Let’s say that five years in, I’m not counting on that happening, and that will be the tragedy of this season, no matter how the “Baloney Clangor” might spin it.