Lakers News: Frank Vogel Has Taken Notice Of How Often Austin Reaves Get Hit In Face
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves has been a revelation for a team that desperately needed an effort-driven player. Since being picked up as an undrafted free agent, Reaves has gone from two-way player to a standard contract to a full-blown rotation piece.

Of course, his rookie season has not come without bumps and bruises. He has missed time due to a hamstring injury, COVID protocols, and has taken a number of hits during games, in part due to the intensity at which he plays the game.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Reaves had held up find throughout this season despite taking all of those hits.

“He’s doing fine. It’s the scrappy nature of his game,” Vogel said of Reaves. “He does get hit in the face more than usual. Oddly gets hit in the face often in games, but that happens when you play scrappy and you stick your nose in there. We’re okay with that and his body is holding up fine.”

There is a well-known “rookie wall” that first-year players often hit at about this point in the season. Coming from a much shorter college season, rookies are sometimes not equipped to handle a full 82-game slate right off the bat.

However, Reaves appears to be doing just fine in the role that he’s been given. He’s been one of the Lakers’ most valuable players in terms of his energy and hustle on the defensive end. He also has shown a relatively high offensive ceiling with a solid jump shot and strong court vision.

Hopefully, he can continue to bring value to the floor for the Lakers and not hit that rookie wall in any significant way. Reaves has drawn some comparisons to Alex Caruso, but Vogel has actually been quicker to trust Reaves than he did Caruso during the 2019-20 season.

If the Lakers want to make a deep playoff run, Reaves is going to be one of the feature players.

Vogel avoiding over-communication about trade rumors

With the NBA trade deadline coming up, the Lakers have once again found themselves involved in a number of rumors. For Vogel, the goal is to be open and honest without letting rumors creep into the locker room too often.

“That’s just something that players have to play through,” Vogel said. “I don’t think we need to overcommunicate in those situations. They know the business, so I don’t overcommunicate in those situations.”

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