Lakers News: Frank Vogel Impressed With Austin Reaves’ Play In NBA Debut
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

There weren’t many positives to take away from the Los Angeles Lakers’ game on Friday night as they were beaten badly by the Phoenix Suns to fall to 0-2 on the young season. Not only that, but frustrations boiled over on the Lakers bench with Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis getting into a shoving match after disagreeing on a defensive pick-and-roll coverage.

If there was a positive to take away it would be the Lakers’ play in the fourth quarter as they did not quit and took a deficit that was north of 30 points all the way down to nine late in the game.

Part of the reason for that was the play of undrafted rookie Austin Reaves, who entered to begin the fourth quarter and made his NBA debut after sitting out the Lakers’ first game of the season. In 12 minutes, finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting and was a plus-17 for L.A., the best mark on the team.

After the game, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel explained why he went to Reaves in the fourth quarter and what he took away from the rookie’s performance.

“We’re learning about our team,” Vogel said. “We gave some of the other wings the first chance, weren’t getting much done as a group in the first three quarters and as a coach when you’re down big, you try to change the game with a small lineup and a different guy at the wing. And Austin came in and played really well.”

Another reason for the start of that Lakers run was that they went ultra-small with LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony as their two big men on the floor. Vogel also explained that decision and if we will see that lineup more often.

“Yes and that’s what we put it in there for. Obviously, they made a run, but that’s a lineup that we’ll use throughout the year at that time. We call it a “center-less” lineup and without AD [Anthony Davis] or a big. There’s a lot that goes into that style of play that we wanted to look at.”

Has Reaves earned more minutes?

Given that the Lakers are a brand new team, it makes sense for Vogel to tinker with different lineups this early in the season to find what works. After Reaves’ strong showing in the loss to the Suns, it will be interesting to see if that earns him more playing time moving forward, perhaps before the game gets out of reach in the fourth quarter.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Avery Bradley Trying To Stay Aggressive Offensively

When Avery Bradley was cut by the Golden State Warriors in training camp, it came as no surprise that the Los Angeles Lakers…

Mitch Kupchak, Lakers Mourn Loss Of UNC Legend Dean Smith

The basketball world lost a giant on Saturday with former University of…

Full Moon in Los Angeles; Lakers Host Wolves

Written by Devin Ugland Timberwolves Projected Starting Line-up: PG: Luke Ridnour SG:…

Lakers Rumors & News Recap: Interest In Lamar Odom Subsides

Over the course of the NBA off-season and throughout the summer, two-time…