With LeBron James out of the lineup, the Los Angeles Lakers have needed the rest of the roster to step up in his absence.
One of those players has been Troy Brown Jr., who has taken over the starting small forward spot in place of James. After a slow start to the 2022-23 season, Brown has started to really kick things into high gear as a starter. Playing the role of a 3-and-D wing, Brown has been a much better floor spacer and outside shooter while also taking on the assignment of guarding one of the other team’s best perimeter players.
While he might not have gaudy stats in the box score every night, Brown has been about as solid of a contributor as one could hope for and Austin Reaves believes he deserves more recognition.
“I don’t think he gets the credit that he deserves, honestly,” Reaves said. “You know, because you look at stats and the stats don’t jump out at you. … Always usually chasing around the team’s best player. Rebounds the ball well, and then the confidence shooting the ball. He’s a very, very capable shooter and shoots it well. We’ve seen that since the summer when we were playing pickup. So it’s not new for any of us. We want him to shoot it with as much confidence as he can, because we know he can make it. But like I said, I don’t think he gets the credit that he deserves.”
There is a point in time during the season where Brown almost fell out of the rotation, so to see him playing so well as of late is a welcomed development. Brown himself admitted it’s a blessing to be a key player for the Lakers right now and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t remain one if he keeps on doing the things he’s asked to.
Los Angeles has managed to bring themselves within one game of the Play-In Tournament, so these next couple of weeks will likely make or break their season. With James projected to be out, Brown and his teammates will need to stay locked in to keep themselves afloat.
Austin Reaves doing his best to fill playmaking void with LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell out
Aside from Brown, Reaves has also assumed more responsibilities particularly on the ball. With D’Angelo Russell and James both out, there’s a clear void when it comes to playmaking and ballhandling so Reaves acknowledged he’s doing his best to fill in the gaps there.
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