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Join Date: Jun 2006
Mo Evans interview
While Vladimir Radmanovic has understandably been labeled this offseason's "high profile" acquisition, I actually think the comparatively "low-pro" swap for shooting guard Maurice Evans may end up making just as big an impact. An absolute steal for a second-round pick, this was a pickup I've been very high on. The guy sports two assets that the Lakers very much crave. Athleticism and the ability to defend. As I watched Miami shred Detroit during last season's playoffs, I actually said out loud a few times (to no one in particular, since I live by myself), "Dude, put Mo Evans on Wade and at least make him work for those baskets!" For whatever reason, "Dude" — also known in some circles as "Flip Saunders" — didn't listen, keeping his bench short and his postseason run shorter. Evans is getting a fresh start in L.A and I'm predicting he'll be better utilized. He's not "the missing piece," but he could definitely help. Here's what Evans had to say in our brief conversation.
Andrew Kamenetzky: For starters, what was your reaction when you heard about being traded?
Maurice Evans: I was very excited, especially to be here in L.A. An up and down team. They get up and down the court. They transition. Great coach. Great, great, player, one of the top players in the league in Kobe. I'm very excited for a lot of reasons. I think I can help this team. I think it's great opportunity. A great time in my career to come to a team like this. I really think it'll be a great fit.
AK: How do you specifically think you can help?
ME: I think that I'm versatile and my versatility is definitely what I can bring to the table. I can shoot. I can score. I can defend. I can run up the court and finish in transition. I think I can do a lot of things well and I think in the triangle offense, you can take advantage of all those type of things. I'm excited. In Detroit, we had a lot components. We had chemistry. We had all those things, but at the same time, we didn't have an offense that would allow everybody to be effective at the same time. But the triangle does allow people to be effective at the same time.
AK: Speaking of Detroit, towards the end of the season and especially during the playoffs, you started seeing a decrease in your minutes. Did you ever get a reason as to why?
ME: No. They didn't discriminate. Everybody's minutes went down, so I guess that gives you some sort of consolation. But it was unfortunate, because I believe if we did use our bench, I think we could have won the championship without a problem. For whatever reason, we used our starters a little bit more than maybe we wanted to. Maybe that was a lack of trust in our bench. Maybe that was just the pressure to succeed after such a great regular season. Once the wins started compiling and the media came in and everyone started to make a big deal about 43-3, all those types of things, I think those had a large thing to do with it. It's just hard in that situation. Flip, that was new to him as well, to his credit. And that was new to the Pistons. They had never had that kind of success that early. Normally, they were the team that comes from behind and were still the underdog. Now we're the favorite and we didn't handle it as well as we could.
AK: Does a situation like that make you froth at the mouth even more to get out on the court?
ME: Yeah, definitely, but I've feeling like this throughout my whole career. This is my 6th year as a pro and I have yet to have the type of success in the NBA that I feel I'm capable of having. I had in success in Europe. I went to Europe for a reason and I had great success there, because I was able to play. And I feel like the times that I've gotten to come into games and play in the NBA, I've been successful. I've contributed and been a rotation player. And I'm not disappointed with that. But I really want to go to the next level and be that type of dominant player that can really help a team. And I think that opportunity's here.
AK: You're often described as an "energy" player. A guy that brings that immediate impact. Do you feel you can bring that playing at a couple positions or matching up defensively against a variety of positions? Small forwards? Shooting guards? Point guards?
ME: Yeah, I definitely feel like I can. The great thing that I like when they describe me as an "energy" player is it's not in the negative sense. A lot of times you hear people say "energy" for a guy who just can't play and runs on a lot of energy. But I think when I do come in, a lot of times I don't know how long I'm going to be in there, I come in and immediately try to make something happen. When you're coming off the bench, you have to try and come in and provide a spark or try to do something to help the team.
I think I can do that in a number of ways, because I can guard a lot of positions. I can guard taller guys, shorter guys. I've had everyone from LeBron to big tall 3 guy to guarding Antoine Walker sometimes playing the four to guarding Marbury and Baron Davis and guys like that. So as far defensively, I feel very comfortable guarding a number of guys. And offensively, I feel very comfortable playing a lot of positions as well.
AK: Have you been studying tape of the Lakers as well?
ME: Definitely, I have been. The funny thing was in college, Tex Winter came down and gave a preliminary introduction to the triangle, so I think that helped me be familiar with it a little bit. And plus, you're defending guys in the triangle for a long time, so obviously you gotta understand kinda how it works. I'm just looking forward to opening camp, to learning from Phil, from Kobe. I'm just getting excited.
October 03, 2006 | Permalink