Lakers News: Austin Reaves Raves About Gabe Vincent’s Impact
Gabe Vincent, Lakers, Cavs
Apr 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Gabe Vincent (7) moves the ball against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the second half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers had to embark on most of the season without key defensive personnel in Gabe Vincent and Jarred Vanderbilt. Thankfully, the team’s offense has picked up considerably since the All-Star break, making up for the defense taking a bit of a dive.

However, Vincent made his long-awaited return during L.A.’s six-game road trip on March 31 in Brooklyn. While his offense has yet to come along, the team desperately missed his perimeter defense.

Vincent continued to showcase his tenacious defense in Sunday’s win against the Cleveland Cavaliers by guarding Donovan Mitchell, who only scored 10 points. Fellow teammate Austin Reaves spoke to the positive impact that the veteran point has had since returning.

“Oh, a lot,” Reaves said. “You know exactly what you’re gonna get from Gabe. Every single game, he’s gonna go out there and compete at the highest level on that end. And that’s what we need from him once he gets a feel for the game again. He hasn’t played for so long. Once he gets a feel for the game, shots will start falling and stuff like that. So Gabe is a big part of what we’re trying to do, especially defensively because he’s so active and plays so hard.”

As the Lakers approach the end of the regular season, Vincent is a proven playoff performer and will be an integral bench piece. Playing the 27-year-old alongside either Reaves or D’Angelo Russell will make a great impact, lessening the starting backcourt’s defensive workload.

It is great to see the Modesto native looking healthy and wasting no time leaving his mark. Something to monitor is his perimeter shooting as Vincent is going to have to make find his 3-point shooting stroke sooner rather than later.

Anthony Davis: Lakers working to make Gabe Vincent feel more comfortable

After only playing five games before his left knee surgery, when Vincent made his anticipated return, it became hard to gauge how he would look on the floor after missing extended time. However, it seems that the 6’2″ guard is defying the speculation as he is becoming a much-needed perimeter defender for the Lakers.

But, after playing three games, it is clear that he needs to find his rhythm offensively. This is safe to assume as time passes, but Anthony Davis said that the team is consciously trying to make Vincent feel more comfortable since returning to the lineup.

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