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As the Los Angeles Lakers gear up for the playoffs, Austin Reaves has been a key player for the team in their push for a postseason berth. Despite being an undrafted rookie, Reaves has shown that he can rise to the challenges of playing on the biggest stage.
At 6’5″ and 209 pounds, Reaves is a shooting guard who has shown great versatility on the court. He has the ability to score from all areas of the court, whether it’s from beyond the arc or attacking the rim. He is also a strong defender who has become a valuable asset for the Lakers.
Reaves’ journey to the NBA has been a challenging one. After a successful high school career in Arkansas, he initially committed to play for Wichita State. However, he eventually transferred to the University of Oklahoma, where he spent the final two seasons of his college career.
Despite being a standout player at Oklahoma, Reaves went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft. However, the Lakers saw potential in him and signed him to a two-way contract. This meant that Reaves would split his time between playing for the Lakers and their G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.
Reaves quickly made an impact in the G-League, averaging 15.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He was named to the All-NBA G League Second Team and also participated in the G-League Dunk Contest.
With the Lakers facing injuries and absences during the regular season, Reaves was given an opportunity to show what he could do at the NBA level. He made his NBA debut on November 30, 2021, and has been a regular rotation player ever since.
One of Reaves’ biggest strengths is his ability to step up in clutch situations. In a game against the Memphis Grizzlies in January 2022, Reaves hit the game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of the game. He finished the game with a career-high 21 points, including six three-pointers.
Reaves has also shown an ability to play well against top competition. In a game against the Golden State Warriors on January 28, 2022, he scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a Lakers’ victory. He also had a strong game against the Utah Jazz on February 15, 2022, scoring 18 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
One of the most impressive things about Reaves is his work ethic. He is constantly pushing himself to improve his game and become a better player. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has praised Reaves for his dedication to his craft and his willingness to learn.
“He’s always studying the game, always watching film, always asking questions,” Vogel said in a recent interview. “He’s really committed to getting better and that’s what you want to see in a young player.”
Reaves’ rise to prominence has not gone unnoticed by his teammates either. Lakers center Dwight Howard recently spoke about how impressed he has been with Reaves’ play.
“He’s been balling out for us,” Howard said. “He’s been making some big-time shots, making some big-time plays. You can tell he’s growing and getting better every game.”
As the Lakers make their push for the playoffs, Reaves will be a key player for the team. His ability to score from all areas of the court and his strong defense make him a valuable asset for the team. And with his willingness to step up in clutch situations, he could be the player that helps the Lakers make a deep playoff run.
In conclusion, Austin Reaves has proven himself to be a rising star in the Lakers’ push for a playoff berth. Despite being an undrafted rookie, he has shown that he can rise to the challenges of playing on the biggest stage. With his strength, versatility, and work ethic, he has become a valuable asset for the team. As the Lakers gear up for the playoffs, Reaves could be the player that helps lead them to victory.