Lakers News: Austin Reaves Focused On Winning But Does Look At Standings
Austin Reaves, Stephen Curry, Lakers, Warriors
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors completely changed the Los Angeles Lakers’ trajectory in the final two games of the regular season. A win could have given them control of their own destiny as to whether or not they moved up to No. 8 or No. 7. Instead, with Anthony Davis sidelined and LeBron James playing sick, Austin Reaves and L.A. lost and now are in danger of dropping to No. 10 ahead of the Play-In Tournament.

Throughout the entire final stretch of the season, the Lakers have been consistent on controlling what they can control and not focusing on the standings. It has been a good tool as they have been winning plenty of games without much movement in the Western Conference. And even if that’s not true and the Lakers have been looking at the standings, they’ve remained consistent in their messaging.

Reaves, however, finally admitted that at least he does take a look at the standings. But that it doesn’t change anything if the Lakers don’t win their games, making that his main focus.

“Yeah, for me, I do,” Reaves said. “Obviously, you want to go up in the standings and put yourself in a good position to go make a run at this like we did last year. And nothing’s really any different now.

“You just got to show up like I’ve said before, we got to handle our business first. And whatever happens around the league happens, but good things don’t happen if we don’t win regardless. So that’s the main focus is to go play a good brand of basketball, high-level IQ basketball and we like when we do that, then we feel like we can beat anybody. So that’s the main thing, and yeah, I’ll be watching other games, just because honestly, I’m a fan of basketball.”

Having Davis out and James not at full strength on Tuesday against the Warriors was undoubtedly a contributing factor in the team’s second straight loss. And Reaves spoke about what it’s like to play under those conditions.

“Yeah, I mean, I think it’s tough, obviously, because those two are what we’re trying to do; they do so much for our team. So just knowing in-out or whatever the case is, kind of gives you a feel for you know, what is expected. But I think at the end of the day, Bron showed up and played a heck of a game, and obviously, when you don’t have AD, it is tough, just because he does so much for us, but like, we just got to be better all and all.”

It would be difficult for any team to win without their best two players, but to do so in such a high-pressure situation becomes almost impossible. Now, the Lakers are likely going to have to play from the bottom half of the Play-In Tournament and work their way towards being the No. 8 seed and earning a chance to face whoever winds up at the top of the conference.

Austin Reaves prides himself on being two-way player

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham praised the competitive nature of his third-year guard, saying that he gets results as a two-way player despite not being the physical prototype because of it.

“When guys see their teammates competing like that, fighting, maybe they don’t look the part, but he’s getting the results because he’s a high level competitor. So that tends to rub off. Both he and Rui have drawn some incredibly tough matchups but they don’t moan, they don’t complain, they just go out there and compete.”

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