ESPN recently added tonight’s Washington Wizards – Sacramento Kings game to their schedule. It will be broadcast nationally at 7:30pm PST. This marks leading Rookie of the Year candidate Tyreke Evans’ national television debut. Basketball fans throughout the country will get their first glimpse at Evans’ professional career, something I’ve been watching every step of the way early in the season. The red carpet has pretty much been laid out by the national media over the last few weeks, and tonight, Evans will make his much anticipated debut. Tyreke didn’t take long to make his presence felt in Sacramento. After Kevin Martin was sidelined with a wrist injury, Evans has assumed control of the team and become the franchise player. Honestly, he’s one of the best rookies I’ve witnessed in the entire decade. Let’s take a look at what he’s done thus far….
To this point, Evans is averaging 20 pts, 5 reb, and 5 ast per game. You can find him in the top 10 in numerous statistical categories among NBA point guards. Although his status as a point guard can be debated, his impact on the court cannot. He’s the primary reason for the Kings’ surprising 10-13 start. He’s playing 35+ minutes per night, and his ability to get into the lane and attack the basket is borderline unparalleled. One of the bigger knocks on him coming into the season is his jump shot, but he has knocked it down better than was predicted. Opposing teams have often put their best perimeter defender on him, only to see him blow by them and get to the basket. He’s also impressed with his defensive ability. His 1.55 steals per game rank him 20th in the league, and 6th among point guards. It will be interesting to see him match up against Gilbert Arenas tonight, someone whom I would compare Evans’ game with. Tonight will be a huge night for Tyreke, as it will mark his national coming out party. His name has been floated around in awards discussions, not only for rookie of the year, but he’s also garnered consideration for an all-star berth, and even MVP attention. If he plays well tonight, expect him to remain atop the Rookie of the Year rankings at least through Christmas. If this is your first time seeing Tyreke Evans play in the NBA tonight, sit back and enjoy the show. The kid is well on his way to a phenomenal NBA career.