The Los Angeles Lakers featured a different starting lineup in their second preseason game against the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas. Despite the more competitive play in three quarters from the Lakers, L.A falls 0-2 in the preseason with a 119-115 loss to the Suns.
Second-year guard Austin Reaves is a big storyline for the Lakers heading into the 2022-23 season. Through his two-way, high-energizing play, the former Oklahoma Sooner has established himself as a fan-favorite and a key rotational piece for the Lakers.
While Darvin Ham is still experimenting with different starting lineups, Reaves made a strong case to be a starter against the Suns when he stuffed the stat sheet with six points, seven rebounds, nine assists, three steals and two blocks.
In his postgame interview, Lakers star LeBron James was asked by Lakers Nation about Reaves’ performance and how he fits in the starting group.
“Austin can fit in any group,” James said. “A guy who plays extremely hard, plays well, doesn’t make mistakes, always in the right place at the right time. He plays extremely hard. His IQ is very high. He fits in any group, and it’s always good to be on the floor with him. I love AR.
“He’s just super-duper cool. He doesn’t do much of anything besides play ball, chill and golf. I will always be a fan of AR for the rest of his career. Hopefully, his career is a lot longer for what I got from my career. If I’m still playing and he’s not playing, there’s a problem. But AR is great, man.”
The relationship James and Reaves have is special as they have grown close in just one year playing together.
With more minutes, that chemistry should continue to grow as Reaves looks to make a leap in his second NBA season, something James clearly believes is possible.
James didn’t apply pressure on front office to make Pacers trade
The offseason summer trade saga for the Lakers is over as the regular season opener is getting closer and closer. While the chance of a trade with the Indiana Pacers that includes Russell Westbrook is still possible, L.A has shifted its focus to see how the point guard can fit in Ham’s new system.
James seems to be on board with that as a recent report indicates he did not apply pressure to the Lakers’ front office to make the Pacers trade a reality.
The Lakers and the team leaders seem committed to the current roster during the preseason. Questions will remain if the Purple and Gold will shake things mid-season, but for now, the talk of a trade seems to be at bay as the Lakers head into their third preseason game.
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