The Los Angeles Lakers are on a win streak for a change, coming away victorious in their last three contests against the Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs.
All of those wins have come without LeBron James, which has forced other players like Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves to step up in his absence.
Both have been able to do so, especially Reaves since entering the starting lineup for James. In the last three games, Reaves is averaging 17.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and four assists while shooting 63% from the field and 66.7% from 3.
Reaves is establishing himself as a core piece for the Lakers Davis spoke to his recent improvements.
“He’s been doing it all,” Davis said of Reaves after the win over the Spurs. ‘All three levels. He’s in the paint with his shot fakes, getting to the line. Shooting the 3-ball. Handling the ball on pick-and-rolls and making the right reads. So he’s been playing unbelievable for us, making all the right plays and his confidence is very high right now.
“We’re giving him the ball, telling him to handle the ball in pick-and-rolls. The thing I think he’s growing the most is just playmaking. He’s making the right reads, he’s getting in the paint, using a shot fake. Guys come collapse, he’s finding the right guy. So he’s definitely taken a big step from last year to this year and he’s going to be a hell of a player.”
While Reaves has been a great piece for the Lakers, it’s Davis that has led the way in the last three victories. The big man has been getting whatever he wants in the paint while also being dominant on defense, drawing praise for Reaves.
“Yeah, he’s been a monster,” Reaves said of Davis. “Like I’ve said multiple times. 18 rebounds, I joke with him on the bench. You’re going to get those. Going to get them over two guys. That’s what we need from him, control the glass. And that’s what he’s done. And on the offensive end, one of the most talented guys in the league, so we expect him to do those things.”
Ham comments on possibility of Reaves remaining in starting lineup
Considering how well Reaves has played since entering the starting lineup, many have began to wonder if he will remain there whenever James is able to return from injury.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was posed that question on Sunday night to which he responded: “We’ll see.”
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