Lakers News: Austin Reaves Speaks To Challenge Of Back-To-Back Against Thunder While Being Shorthanded
(Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers concluded a very uneven four-game road trip that saw them finish 2-2 with two huge blowout losses to postseason contenders in the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Lakers guard Austin Reaves — a game-low minus-23 in the Thunder loss on Thursday night — discussed what has been an up-and-down season altogether.

The Lakers have put together stretches at times where it looks as though they’ve figured things out. Then they have also had stretches where it looks as though they are very far away from where they want to be. And after one of those nights on Thursday, Reaves and other Lakers were asked to evaluate where the team is at.

Reaves believes the loss to the Thunder was largely circumstantial, even if he feels the Lakers have no excuses for a poor performance like that, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“Any back-to-back is tough. Especially when you’re playing a young, talented team like OKC that shot the ball really well tonight. They play the game the right way. They’re well coached. And they play for one another. So you’re going to have to make multiple efforts on the defensive end, scramble more than usual and it’s tough. But that’s not an excuse. We have to be better.”

Reaves echoed another popular sentiment about the Lakers regarding their string of injuries. The Lakers guard did not want to make any broad assumptions about the team without seeing them at full strength first, but was overall positive:

“I don’t really know if you could really do that yet, just because like you said, we’ve had so many injuries, had guys out, guys not played. It’s kind of been a next man up mentality, which I think we’re good at, but at the same time, when you’re missing guys that are key pieces of what you’re trying to do, it’s tough. So I think we’re in a good spot, obviously we have some things we need to work on and things that we do well, as every team does. We like where we’re at.”

The Lakers would certainly like to have players like Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent back before they make any determinations. And even with all the missed time, the Lakers still have an above .500 record a quarter of the way through the season. Reaves is choosing to focus on these positives as opposed to the negatives of a blowout loss.

Anthony Davis shares similar sentiment

Lakers star Anthony Davis was another member of the roster who wanted to be patient when it comes to assessing the team’s early performance.

“No. Because we haven’t been healthy. I think we are staying afloat and winning games that we should win, but also losing games that we feel like we should win. But, I mean, I think through 20 games, obviously, we feel like we could be better. We could’ve won games that we lost. But we’re OK. Especially without being fully healthy with some of our top guys. So we feel like we’re in a good spot.”

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