Tyreke Evans is driven more to excel after his sophomore season was plagued by nagging foot and ankle injuries. Whenever the NBA lockout ends, he plans to be ready to show a much improved game in the coming season.
"I'm anxious; I'm real anxious," Evans said. "I just want to go out there and show everybody I can play basketball, especially with the year I had last year. I hope we don't miss games so I can hurry up and get out there."
Evans planned to take his game to the next level last season. After winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2010, he spent his offseason retooling his jump shot. A consistent jumper coupled with his ability to penetrate would make Evans even tougher to defend.
But in an exhibition game Oct. 13 in Las Vegas against the Lakers, Evans injured both ankles. He also was bothered by plantar fasciitis in his left foot and eventually required a laser procedure. In all, Evans missed 24 games because of injuries.
Looking back, he said the injuries didn't allow him to display his entire game much of the season.
"Especially getting to the cup," Evans said. "I really couldn't finish like I wanted to because of the foot. It was tough for me going to the basket and not finishing like I usually finish. Just pushing off that foot, that's the foot I jump off of, so that was kind of tough."