No one believed the Los Angeles Lakers had a chance in Boston against the Celtics without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But with Austin Reaves leading the way, the Lakers shocked everyone by giving the Celtics just their third home loss of the season.
Reaves finished with 32 points and knocked down seven 3-pointers in the Lakers’ 114-105 victory over their rivals. The guard resembled the player the Lakers saw down the stretch of last season and in the playoffs, and head coach Darvin Ham had nothing but praise for him afterwards.
The Lakers coach spoke highly of not only Reaves’ performance in Boston, but what he has meant to the franchise overall. Ham says Reaves has been amazing since being in a Lakers uniform and exemplifies the mentality he wants from the team, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“AR and I had a one-on-one conversation yesterday briefly when we got into town and I just wanted to thank him and show him my appreciation verbally for him and what he’s meant to our program. Just his scrappiness, his willingness to lay it on the line. He’s been nothing short of amazing since he’s been in a Laker uniform and specifically since I’ve been here as the head coach. He’s laid it all on the line every single time. I trust him in big moments that he’s gonna do his part. His leadership is starting to come through as well and one of the things he said is to your point, is when things are not going so great, we’ve already shown what we can do when we’re right and play the right way and approach things the right way. So we were just collectively reverting back to that, it’s more of a mentality than anything.
“I think tonight showed, especially losing Vando when we did, the ability to overcome adversity. Tonight, when you’re talking about who’s out of the lineup and those guys are the best team in the league making a surge after we got out on them by a big lead, that was the definition of next-play mentality. And he exemplifies that, Austin Reaves.”
Reaves has had an up-and-down season after signing a new contract this summer, but performances like this show why the front office has made him basically untouchable in trade talks. Once again when the lights were brightest, he stepped up and showed the mindset and attitude it takes to succeed.
Austin Reaves: Lakers must figure out how to communicate better
Despite the win in Boston, the Lakers still have issues that need fixing and Austin Reaves hasn’t been shy about speaking on them.
Reaves called communication the most important thing as a whole and that the team must come together to figure out and fix their problems as he still believes they are good enough to beat anyone on any given night.
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