Reggie Evans -" I have been doing real good keeping my composure. But lately I am kind of losing it a little bit. I am getting real anxious to get out there. Just to feel the flow and be around my teammates. I'm getting anxious and stuff. That is how I am feeling right now. "
There has been a ton of expectation on when Reggie does get back. Some seeing him as the answer to the Raps defensive troubles. Not to mention as Reggie said above he is clearly itching to get back out there. Given that is there reason to be a bit cautious as the temptation would be to go flat out trying to make up for lost time.
Reggie Evans- " I'm definitely going to have to fight it. But I am just going to have to go hard in practice and go hard with my weightlifting coach and go to the track to help me with my endurance. I am probably going to have to a lot of stuff on and off the court to kinda of prepare me for when I go out there. When I can start jogging and stuff. "
So it will take a lot of work for Reggie to get back. However he is motivated to do it and is really looking forward to it. While he has been out, the guy who is his locker next door neighbor Amir Johnson has been playing well and doing a lot of things that Reggie can bring. Here is what Reggie had to say about the play of Amir so far.
Reggie Evans- " He has been doing real good. He has been bringing great energy, running the floor really well, having a great attitude and working real hard in practice. That is why you are seeing good results on the floor. "
Amir and Reggie joked around about some lotion that Amir was using that is Reggie's. It is some high end stuff apparently so Reggie told Amir how to get his own. But it was all in good fun. The Raptors really seem to have a good vibe in general in the locker room. I spoke to Amir post game about his play not this lotion situation after the game last night. He did not play as much as he has been last night. In part because Rasho Nesterovic had a nice night, his best since returning to the Raps. But Amir is bringing hustle and banging on the boards.
Amir Johnson- " You took the words out of my mouth. That is my job to get in there and bang against guys, block shots and everything else you said."
Amir is getting some offense from his hard work. Here is what he said about that.
Amir Johnson- "Absolutely, I am always on the offense glass if they miss a shot I am going for that putback or that tip in."
In the second half of the back to back likely going to see more of Amir vs Charlotte. That is a little what's up with Amir mixed in. But some more on Reggie. He has really been encouraging and trying his best to cheer on his team. Although the best way Reggie can bring his toughness is by being on the floor he still offers some encouragement to his team to be tough. Offering them advice such as this.
Reggie Evans-" I just try to encourage them. Pump them up. Go at them (The Other Team) don't let them push you. Push first and hit first because sometimes you want throw the first blow before you get hit. You don't want anybody hit you to wake you up. You want to....BOOM...let them know you there."
In the games we have seen Reggie out on the bench we have know he was there for sure. He has been up and cheering just as hard as he plays when he is out on the floor playing. Reggie has also become a fixture on Twitter (@ReggieEvans30) and is pretty good at responding to the tweets that come his way. I even started a fun segment for the blog called "Bet That" which I started on the weekend if you missed it. Reggie has given me his blessing to role with it. It is meant to be all in good fun and is based around the expression "Bet That" Reggie will often use on Twitter.
Reggie was sad to see his Iowa football squad go down to Ohio State. But he hopes for the best for Iowa in the bowl season as Iowa should get in a bigger bowl game. No firm word on when Reggie will be back in the line-up but safe to say he is hoping it will be sooner than later at this point. Reggie is an aggressive hard dude on the floor but off it is a nice guy that is fun to talk with. Hoping he can get back to 100% and get out there and contribute with his basketball skills. Having Reggie in practices and games will help make this team better and definitely tougher.