The Los Angeles Lakers were extremely shorthanded on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks thanks to all the moves the front office made at the trade deadline. With only nine players available, the team needed everyone to step up and one of the best players for the Lakers on this night was guard Austin Reaves.
In just his second game back since returning from a hamstring injury, Reaves reminded everyone what the Lakers had been without, finishing with 18 points and four rebounds off the bench while shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
Though the Lakers came up short against the Bucks, it was a very competitive effort and Reaves liked the energy surrounding the team following a trade deadline that saw many teammates shipped away.
“It’s kind of tough to explain. Not that it’s really much different, but like you said, after [the deadline], you have what you have,” Reaves said after the game.
“And I agree, I feel like we caught a good vibe out there playing the right way, doing the right things. The energy was good as well so we’re just looking to continue to do those things. But I’m super excited with what we did tonight, how we competed.”
The Lakers actually led for basically the entire first half before Milwaukee took over in the third quarter. But the Lakers continued to fight deep into the fourth until Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo closed the door.
Now, the Lakers will move forward with a very different roster following a trade deadline that saw the team acquire five new players. Reaves admitted that it’s tough to see so many teammates go, but understands that this is a business.
“Like you said, it’s been wild. A lot of trades, a lot of surprises,” Reaves added. “Speaking for your teammates, you’re with your teammates almost every day from when training camp starts until the trade deadline passed or whatever, so obviously you never want to see anybody go. You’ll miss those guys, just the chemistry you have.
“But it’s a business at the end of the day and I feel like for me personally, I try to stay off social media. I don’t have Twitter so I don’t really scroll a lot looking into those things, I just try to live my life as happy as I can.”
With just 26 games remaining, the Lakers will have to work hard and fast to build that chemistry and make a run to the playoffs.
Austin Reaves says it meant a lot that Lakers wouldn’t include him in trade package
While Reaves tries to avoid all of those rumors, it is impossible to not see them sometimes and that was the case with the Lakers looking to acquire point guard Kyrie Irving. Reports stated that the Nets asked for Reaves in a possible deal and the Lakers refused to add him.
Reaves responded to that report, saying that it meant a lot that the Lakers were refusing to trade him away before adding that this is where he wants to be moving forward.
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