Austin Reaves Has a Stunning Debut Against Grizzlies

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Austin Reaves

Rookie Austin Reaves made a strong impression in his NBA playoff debut. Moreover, he helped the Los Angeles Lakers to a 109-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

A Fiery Newcomer

Reaves, who joined the Lakers as an undrafted free agent, scored 22 points in 28 minutes off 

the bench. Moreover, he also contributed 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals, showcasing his versatility on the court.

The 23-year-old guard’s performance was a welcome surprise for the Lakers, who were without star players LeBron James and Anthony Davis due to injuries. Reaves stepped up and played a key role in the team’s success, impressing his teammates and coach with his poise and confidence.

Austin Reaves

Praise from the Coach

In addition to this, Lakers coach Frank Vogel praised Reaves’ play, saying that he had earned the opportunity to contribute in the playoffs. “He’s a gamer,” Vogel said. “He’s got a lot of confidence in himself, and he’s got the respect of his teammates.”

Reaves was a standout player at the University of Oklahoma, where he played for three seasons before going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft. He then signed a two-way contract with the Lakers G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers.

Quite the Impact

Reaves quickly made an impact in the G League, averaging 17.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game in 21 appearances. His strong performance earned him a full NBA contract with the Lakers in February 2023.

The player had only played in six regular-season games for the Lakers before Sunday’s playoff debut, but he made the most of his opportunity. He played 27 minutes, scoring 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 5-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also had four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Praise from the Coach

Bright Future Ahead

Reaves’ impressive performance drew praise from Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who called him a “big-time player” and credited his preparation and work ethic.

“He’s been working his tail off, waiting for this moment,” Vogel said. “He’s been working so hard in practice, and it’s just great to see it pay off in a big playoff game like this.” Reaves himself was happy with his performance but remained focused on the team’s ultimate goal.

“It’s a great feeling, but at the end of the day, it’s all about winning,” Reaves said. “We got the win tonight, and that’s what matters.”

The Lakers will Continue the Playoffs

The Lakers will Continue the Playoffs

The Lakers will continue their playoff series against the Grizzlies on Tuesday, with Reaves expected to play a significant role once again.

For Reaves, Sunday’s playoff debut was a dream come true. And it was a moment that he won’t forget anytime soon. His performance shows that he has the potential to be a key player for the Lakers in the playoffs and beyond.

A Solid Spot

Reaves’ strong performance could earn him more playing time as the Lakers continue their playoff run. He has shown that he is capable of making a significant impact on both ends of the court.  And his energy and intensity could be valuable assets for the team going forward.

Furthermore, Reaves’ success is a testament to the Lakers’ commitment to developing young talent. The team has a history of finding and nurturing undrafted players, and Reaves is the latest example of that success.

Conclusion

The players are facing significant adversity with injuries to key players. The Lakers are showing that they still have the talent and depth to compete at a high level in the playoffs. And with players like Reaves stepping up and making an impact, the team’s future looks bright.

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