Jacob Evans drew the attention of the Golden State Warriors as much for his defense as his versatility.
”He’s a serious player <a title="http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/jamize-olawale-jersey" href="http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/jamize-olawale-jersey">http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/jamize-olawale-jersey</a> ,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said Thursday night after making the 6-foot-6 Cincinnati wing player their first-round pick with the 28th overall selection. ”He’s defensive-minded. He has a knack for it and a nose for rebounds.”
Evans worked out twice for the Warriors, once on the day of the championship parade and again on Wednesday. He was one of many wing players taken in the first round.
”He’s that kind of a modern NBA player who is versatile and tough,” Myers said. ”He fits a lot of things we do. That’s an area we don’t have a lot of depth.”
Evans, who turned 21 three days ago, was a finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year award a year after being a finalist for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year.
Evans averaged 11.7 points, 2.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 105 career games with Cincinnati.
Evans, named first team all-AAC, finished his career with the Bearcats with a 37.7 3-point shooting percentage, fifth in school history.
His mother, Theresa Chatman-Evans, was a point guard at Grambling.
”When our pick came up it was clear it would be him <a title="Kyle Long Jersey" href="http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/kyle-long-jersey">Kyle Long Jersey</a> ,” Myers said. ”There were a lot of wings taken and we had him rated higher than where he went.”
The two-time defending NBA champion Warriors’ brass considered a number of similar players that may have been available. They wanted to draft someone who could step in and play 10 minutes a game while giving the team depth on the perimeter.
”I think we got that guy, I don’t know,” Myers said. ”He’s all business and he seems willing to work. He knows how to play basketball.”
With a host of All-Stars already on the roster, Golden State had the luxury of looking for a specific position. Evans fit the bill.
Draymond Green spent a lot of time with the draft preparation and sat in on Evans’ workouts. He stayed for the draft and spoke with Evans after he was drafted.
The Warriors didn’t have a second-round pick Thursday after trading it to the Denver Nuggets five years ago for Andre Iguodala.
Myers said he tried to work out a deal for another pick in the second round.
”We tried. We were pretty aggressive,” Myers said. ”A couple of different times we thought things would work out but then the player would get drafted. We were being selective.”
With little room on the roster, Myers said he was happy with the way things worked out.
”Depending on (Patrick) McCaw and (Kevon) Looney, we don’t have a lot of room on the roster,” he said. ”It’s not like we have six roster spots open.”
The Atlanta Falcons came into the season with such high expectations.
Then, a jarring dose of reality.
As if a carbon-copy loss in Week 1 wasn't bad enough, two significant injuries on defense have left this team reeling as it prepares for Sunday's home opener against division rival Carolina.
The Falcons lost hard-hitting strong safety Keanu Neal to a season-ending knee injury and were forced to put middle linebacker Deion Jones on injured reserve with a foot problem. While Jones is facing a much shorter recovery period, he won't be eligible to return until Week 11.
Just like that <a title="Anthony Castonzo Jersey" href="http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/anthony-castonzo-jersey">Anthony Castonzo Jersey</a> , the Falcons are missing two cornerstones of their promising young defense, a pair of third-year players who were both picked for the Pro Bowl last season.
"Let's not sugarcoat it," defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel said after practice Wednesday. "This week, honestly, were two devastating blows."
Duke Riley, who had been starting on the weak side, will move inside to replace Jones. Neal's starting spot in the secondary goes to Damontae Kazee, who was one of the team's most impressive players during the preseason but it still rather new to the position after playing cornerback in college.
"We'll ask those guys to do the things they do best," coach Dan Quinn said. "We won't feature them in exactly the same way we did Deion and (Neal). We'll ask them to play the style that suits them and suits us, too."
The Falcons had been working Riley as both a middle and outside linebacker with this very scenario in mind. He was a bit of a disappointment as a rookie, but Quinn said he had shown significant improvement heading into his second season.
The trickle down of Jones' injury is that rookie Foyesade Oluokun <a title="Randy White Jersey" href="http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/randy-white-jersey">Randy White Jersey</a> , a sixth-round pick out of Yale, moves up to start on the outside. Kemal Ishmael could also get playing time at that position.
"That's football. People get injured," Ismael said. "New guys have got to step up. We created this team just for that."
While the defense is breaking in two new starters, the offense is still dealing with the same ol' issue.
Ineptitude in the red zone.
In an 18-12 loss to Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, the Falcons managed only one touchdown and nine points out of five drives inside the Eagles 20. On the final play of the game from the 5, Julio Jones landed out of bounds after leaping to catch Matt Ryan's pass 鈥?essentially, the same way the previous season ended with a divisional round playoff loss to the Eagles.
The opener turned up the heat on offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, whose play-calling was widely panned on social media. Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner tweeted that Philadelphia ran the same defensive scheme on the last four plays of the game, but the Falcons never seemed to figure it out.
"They played 7 across," Warner wrote. "Needed to attack 1 zone w/ 2 guys & it's an easy TD 鈥?they kept sending guys 2 different zones??? Beat zone by overloading it!"
Quinn came to Sarkisian's defense.
Well, sort of.
"For sure <a title="http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/kevin-king-jersey" href="http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/kevin-king-jersey">http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/kevin-king-jersey</a> , we're not scoring in the red zone like we're capable of," Quinn said. "It's not all execution or the calls. But we've got plenty of work to do down there. There are a number of things where I would like to see improvement."
Most notably, the Falcons attempted 43 passes against Philadelphia but ran the ball only 18 times.
"We play best when we have good balance between the run and the pass," Quinn said. "That's what we need to be. The run game 鈥?how we feature our backs, the play action that goes with it 鈥?that's where so many of our explosive plays come from. We've got to work to get that right."
Ryan agreed with that assessment, but also said it's far too soon to go into panic mode.
"It's a small sample size," the quarterback said. "I believe the work we put in is going to pay off for us as we move forward. I believe that our execution is going to be better the next time we're down there."
Notes: RB Devonta Freeman (knee) did not practice Wednesday, raising concerns that he may not be ready to go against the Panthers. RB Brian Hill was promoted from the practice squad, a further sign the Falcons are concerned about Freeman's status. ... OG Ben Garland (calf) and WR Russell Gage (knee) also sat out practice.Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at s://apnews/search/paul%20newberry <a title="Authentic Womens Brandon Parker Jersey" href="http://www.officialusafootballs.com/oakland-raiders/brandon-parker-jersey">Authentic Womens Brandon Parker Jersey</a>
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