The blows just keep coming for the bedraggled Clippers. Yesterday, Doc Rivers said that Jawun Evans needed surgery for his sports hernia— which means he will join Patrick Beverley and Avery Bradley in the “missing the rest of the season” section on the bench. Evans missed time with the same injury starting in late January and ending in early March, so he was either never really healthy, or he aggravated the injury in recent weeks. Either way, Jawun Evans’ rookie season is now over.
Jawun played in 48 games for the Clippers this season, starting four, and averaged a respectable 16.2 minutes per game. However, the minutes per game stat is skewed by a handful of games in December and January where he had to play over 30 minutes per game due to the Clippers having so many injuries. In 16 (so 1/3) of his games, he played less than 10 minutes, and in 18 he played 10-19. Considering that, his low per game averages make more sense: he frequently didn’t have time to get into a rhythm, and often got minutes for very brief stretches in lineups where he wasn’t asked to do much on offense. In games when Jawun got real minutes, he produced, and produced well.
For the season, Jawun averaged 4.8 points, 2.1 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.9 turnovers, while shooting 35.2% from the floor, 27.8% from three (on 1.1 attempts per game), and 77.6% from the free throw line (on 1.0 attempts per game).
Looking at those numbers, the first thing that jumps out is poor shooting numbers. Jawun’s size limits him somewhat as a finisher around the basket, but he could still improve there significantly by working on his touch and not going at 100% speed when driving to the basket. Too often he would be moving too fast to get much finesse on his layups, leading to wild-looking desperation flings off the glass. Jawun showed promise on his jumpshooting, despite the awful numbers: his form looks good enough, and his release is quick, especially on pull-up jumpers. If he keeps working hard on his shooting, he should become a respectable outside threat in a year or two.
There are two areas Jawun excelled in this season: passing and pestering. While nobody would ever confuse Jawun for Steve Nash, he legitimately has feel for the game on offense, and can make some beautiful passes in the flow of an offense. Evans seemed particularly adept at bounce passes on the pick and roll, an extremely useful skill in a pick and roll heavy league. He keeps his head up in transition, and is able to penetrate the lane and find shooters. On defense, his size can make him vulnerable against larger players, especially in the post, but Evans’ quickness, length, and speed make him an on-ball fiend. Given a few years of experience and some tutelage (Pat Beverley is a perfect mentor for Jawun), he could be a dangerous defensive player on the perimeter.
This was a promising rookie season for Jawun. He flashed some real NBA-level talents, and his persistence and fight on the defensive end quickly won him the hearts of Clippers’ fans. Jawun is an exciting young talent, and hopefully Clippers’ fans will get to watch him develop for years to come.
Doc Rivers just said Jawun Evans needs surgery for his sports hernia. So he’s done for rest of season— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) April 2, 2018