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Life Without Anderson, Part I: Freeing Tyreke Evans

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Monty Williams is failing to take advantage of our potential Sixth-Man of the Year Candidate.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Pretty much since the start of the season, there have numerous opinions, both here at The Bird Writes and Twitterverse, asking for Tyreke Evans to spend more time on the court than off of it. Currently, Evans is averaging 25:38 through 32 games. Our 2nd highest paid player is 6th on the team in minutes per game.

In comparison, our sixth man from a season ago, Ryan Anderson, averaged 29:10. Here are some other notable sixth-man types and their current minute averages as reserves (and # of games in parentheses):

  • Martell Webster = 26:25 (19)
  • Isaiah Thomas = 27:40 (18)
  • Jamal Crawford = 27:14 (24)
  • J.R. Smith = 30:00 (20)
  • Jarrett Jack = 27:19 (31)
  • Jeremy Lin = 27:18 (10)

Well, maybe his performance doesn't warrant it?

Excluding last night's game and based on a minimum of 20 minutes on the floor together, here is the list of players and the number of times they appear in the Pelicans top ten 4-man units based on offensive rating (ORTG):

  • Tyreke Evans = 10
  • Ryan Anderson = 8
  • Jrue Holiday = 7
  • Anthony Davis = 4
  • Eric Gordon = 1
  • Al-Farouq Aminu = 1
Okay, okay, Monty must have some valid reason. Perhaps it has to do with Evans' production on the defensive end then. With the same criteria as above, here is a list of players and the number of times they appear in the Pelicans top ten 4-men units based on defensive rating (DRTG):
  • Jrue Holiday = 6
  • Tyreke Evans = 5
  • Anthony Davis = 5
  • Ryan Anderson = 3
  • Al-Farouq Aminu = 2
  • Eric Gordon = 2

Still not convinced? Perhaps the die-hard Monty supporters feel Evans has received plenty of playing time when Anderson has been sidelined but it hasn't shown up well in the overall averages. To avoid skewing the results, the games in which Evans re-tweaked his ankle injury (PHX, OKC and MEM) have been left out. (# of games in parentheses.)

  • Tyreke Evans minutes per game with Ryan Anderson active = approximately 28 1/2 minutes (18)
  • Tyreke Evans minutes per game with Ryan Anderson inactive = approximately just under 25 minutes (10)

Scratching your head yet? I think I've developed a bald spot. Here's one more comparison, for good measure:

  • Tyreke Evans minutes per game average in Pelican wins = almost 29 1/2 minutes (14)
  • Tyreke Evans minutes per game average in Pelican losses = approximately 25 minutes (15)

Based on regular minutes, the website 82 games and their simple rating has Evans rated as the teams 2nd most valuable player. When Evans was informed he'd be coming off the bench, he was compared to filling a role similar to Manu Ginobili back in his heyday. Ginobili consistently averaged between 27-30 minutes, but Evans, on a below average team in the Western Conference, just breaks the 25 minute mark. And the disparities when Ryan Anderson is inactive or the Pelicans lose are even more mind-boggling.

Yo Monty, what gives?