In a discussion of NBA "odd couples," Grantland's Zach Lowe writes about the Nets new starting "big" combination: Brook Lopez and Reggie Evans, one cerebral and one ruthless. Can they work together? Early returns suggest that indeed it can. The defensive advantage is so great that it overcomes a minimal loss on offense, despite Evans' limited skills on that end of the court.
Things are working so far, though Lopez and Evans have logged only 90 minutes together, per NBA.com. The Nets have allowed just 92.4 points per 100 possessions in those minutes, a massive drop-off from their overall number and a stingier mark than the league's best defenses give up. Evans's communication skills have also helped. The cost has come on offense, but it has not been huge: The Nets have scored 101.3 points per 100 possessions with Lopez-Evans, a league-average mark, even if it represents a step back from Brooklyn's top-10 overall number (103.8).
It's hard to start such a one-dimensional player, but the other four starting Nets are all serious scoring threats. Maybe this can work.