Point guards like Russell Westbrook or Rajon Rondo -- it's impossible to take your eyes off them during the course of a game because they are everywhere you look. Tyreke Evans, while fitting into the same defense-drive-rebound phylum as the two aforementioned kids, isn't quite the same.
You can lose Tyreke Evans, turn your attention over to the other players on the court. Yet, there he is with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. It's because Westbrook and Rondo surprise you with the rebounds and the wacky defensive plays. They look out of place, even though they do the same thing over and over (and over). I will never get used to seeing Westbrook crashing the board, or Rondo doing his behind-the-back trick.
But Evans looks like he belongs in the paint pulling down rebounds. He looks like he belongs when he challenges shots from power forwards. He looks perfectly natural careening into three bodies on every drive, knocking his adversaries down while standing tall.
If Westbrook and Rondo embody the attributes of a power forward from the point guard position, Evans is a power forward at the point guard position.
His game is simply beastly. He is a monster in the lane -- really, he's closer to a smaller (much much less efficient) version of LeBron James than any other comparison. Dwyane Wade attacks the lane, gets knocked down, gets back up, and attack the lane again. LeBron attacks the lane, knocks the defender down, and attacks the lane again. Evans is in the middle, but closer to LeBron. On defense, it's the same: Wade gets blocks and steals with ultraquick hands and the one of the quickest pairs of pogo stick legs in the league. LeBron's best defensive skill is the fact that you cannot get him on his heels -- he is always in control of his body, and his body is the best on the floor. Reke has great hands, but he's much closer to the LeBron side on this equation. The Acie Law play in the first half -- where Law tried to drive around Evans but got absolutely nowhere -- shows this well: he is just too strong, too smart, too long, too quick.
As such, his magnificent plays look too easy, and you don't notice until he's destroying someone's ankles off the dribble. Which he did, oh, 13 or so times during the course of Saturday's game. His driving ability is truly unbelievable. I hope the Maloofs make him pay rent considering he'll be living at the free throw line.
I would have liked to see whether he could handle Stephen Curry during the Warriors' run (Curry and Evans rarely matched up) and it'll be interesting to see whether his assist numbers shoot up in the preseason, when he has Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia taking fed threes instead of Donté Greene and Omri Casspi. I also want to see him defend some top-flight point guards (with all due respect to Will Conroy) before I get too ahead of myself on the lofty words.
But until then, I sit in disbelief. This cat is something amazing.