Lakers News: Austin Reaves Reflects On Lessons Learned From 2023 Playoff Run
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was an improbable, but memorable playoff run for the Los Angeles Lakers last spring as they went from the bottom of the standings to the Western Conference Finals.

The Lakers were seemingly dead in the water when the February trade deadline came around and thankfully, general manager Rob Pelinka made some moves that completely changed the season. The Lakers would then go on to win the Play-In Tournament, earning the 7th seed, before beating the No. 2 seeded Memphis Grizzlies and taking out the then defending champion Golden State Warriors.

Unfortunately, L.A. would run out of steam in the Conference Finals, getting swept by the eventual champion Denver Nuggets. However, it was the first playoff run for Austin Reaves and he shared what he learned on J.J. Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and the Three:

“The bad is just that it’s long. The season is long, the playoffs are long. Especially when you go into the playoffs, everything just goes up more. The physicality goes up more, the intensity goes up more, attention to detail goes up more. Which is great for me because that’s basically how I play every game. I have to. I have to be locked in to game plans, situations. I’m not blessed enough to kind of just free style it. But what I learned most was just kind of that too. It was the attention to detail, attention to every single play matters. Obviously having Bron in your corner helps, just because he’s been there a million times and played in all those games. But you can tell as soon as the playoffs rolls around, him and AD, their attention to everything is laser focus.”

Reaves got to experience it firsthand what it is like to be in the playoffs alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis when things get taken up a notch. The Arkansas native was not afraid of the moment, averaging 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists on 46.4% from the field and 44.3% from 3.

The playoffs are simply an entirely different animal than the regular season with the preparation and the game planning that goes into every game and every series. Having that experience with one of, if not the greatest player ever, in James is going to do wonders for Reaves in future playoff appearances.

When playing for the Lakers and with LeBron, players have to be ready to perform in high-pressure situations and it is a good sign to see Reaves was ready to step up and provide much-needed scoring punch. As L.A. looks to get over the hump this season, the team will need Reaves to build upon his postseason play.

Reaves enjoyed raising In-Season Tournament banner, but focused on winning championship

Reaves got to experience winning something in L.A. by winning the first In-Season Tournament as the banner was recently unveiled. Admittedly, Reaves enjoyed the ceremony but now is focused on winning a championship.

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