Austin Reaves Feels He’s Done Well Filling Different Roles For Lakers Throughout Season
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After an outstanding run from the end of the regular season through the playoffs last year, expectations were high for Austin Reaves to make a leap for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. But Reaves hasn’t quite turned into the “third star” some saw him becoming.

Reaves hasn’t had a bad season by any stretch and has increased his scoring, rebounding and assist numbers from last year. But he has had some rough stretches this year and with the Lakers not being the championship contender many expected them to be, Reaves not quite reaching that next level has been looked at as one of the reasons why.

But Reaves himself has a different outlook on the season he is having so far. On the first episode of Buha’s Block with The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Reaves discussed his season, feeling he has done a good job of filling whatever role the team needs:

“I think I’ve done a really good job this year of kind of stepping into different roles at different times and kind of just taking the season in stride, honestly because there’s so many times where we don’t have one of Bron or AD or maybe DLo got sick for a couple games or was out for a couple games. I think just being able to adapt to as many situations as I think I get thrown into, I’ve done a really good job.

“Obviously, there’s aspects where I want to get better and where I wish I’d been better this year, but I feel like winning is the main thing and I don’t really care about all that other stuff. When it comes to points per game or assists, whatever it is, I don’t care about that. I’m trying to fill what we need as a group to be successful and I feel like I’ve done that fairly well. Obviously have had some hiccups on the road and have had some stretches where I haven’t played well, but I think that’s just the course of an NBA year and we’re looking forward to finishing out this season right.”

It is true that Reaves is often tasked with taking on new roles depending on who has been available. When the team moved Russell to the bench for some time, or when LeBron James is out, it is Reaves who takes on more of a primary creator role to get the teammates involved. Within the starting lineup that the Lakers have settled on, Reaves has been tasked with taking on a bigger role defensively and has been up to the challenge.

What the Lakers love about Reaves is that he is willing to take on whatever is needed of him to help the team be successful. Winning is most important and even though he’s had some struggles this season, when it comes down to it, Reaves will never be scared of the biggest stages and coming through when it matters most.

Lakers’ LeBron James praises Austin Reaves’ defense on Shai Gilgious-Alexander

Austin Reaves recently had one of the toughest challenges in having to contain Thunder guard Shai Gilgious-Alexander, one of the top players in the league. But the MVP candidate was held to just 20 points on 5-of-13 shooting and LeBron James praised Reaves’ defensive efforts.

“I thought Austin was sensational from start to finish when he was on the floor just trying to contain the ball and making Shai and J-Will take tough shots, Giddey at times. And we just tried to protect him on the back end.”

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