The Los Angeles Lakers are playing very important basketball right now. At the beginning of the year, it looked as though they were headed for a second-straight season without playoff basketball. But some great trade deadline moves have helped push them into the postseason picture.
Austin Reaves has been playing extremely well lately, too, which has also given them a major boost. He even got the start in their Wednesday night game against the Phoenix Suns. After the contest, he spoke about when head coach Darvin Ham told him he’d be starting and his mindset following that.
“He pulled me aside yesterday after practice and told me that I would be starting,” Reaves said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “But for me, it’s truly the same mindset going into every game, and it’s win. At all costs, win. And that’s all that really matters. So, there’s not much different starting [or] not starting. For me, it’s really just go out and play basketball the way that I always have and the way that I love.”
Reaves played extremely well against the Suns, helping the Lakers secure a crucial victory against a divisional rival. He finished the night with 25 points, four rebounds, and 11 assists on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 1-of-1 shooting from behind the three-point line. The Lakers guard also shot 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.
It was an impressive performance from a second-year guard who has emerged as a key piece on this Lakers team. They’ll need his skills heading into the playoffs.
Anthony Davis Praises Jarred Vanderbilt
When playing the Suns, one of the most important assignments is guarding Devin Booker well. After the game, Anthony Davis praised Jarred Vanderbilt for the defense he played on Booker in the win.
“Defensively, I think we were really good,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “We had some slip-ups, but for the most part, I think we did a good job defensively. Vando [Vanderbilt] did a good job on Book. Just making it tough for him. He made some tough shots. Austin was on him. Dennis[was, too]. Just making it tough on him all night. Nothing really easy. Rebound the basketball, and just playing free. Having fun. So, a lot of guys played well [and] stepped up. It’s a big win for us for sure.”
Darvin Ham Discusses Lakers Rotation
In addition, after the Lakers’ win over the Orlando Magic this past weekend, Ham spoke about what the rotation will look like when LeBron James returns from injury.
“I mean, we’ll navigate that when he gets here,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “When he gets back into the flow of things, LeBron, that is. But until then, I think guys are fitting well together. It’s just, some nice guys make shots, [but] some nights, they don’t. And we have to be able to – I don’t want to say suffer through – but maintain, in spite of the ball may not be going in for everyone like it should. But at the end of the day, as long as we move the ball, trust one another. At halftime, we had 15 assists on 20 made field goals. So, guys like Austin, Dennis [Schroder], [and] even Troy [Brown Jr.] tonight, knocking in four threes. Everybody’s doing their part [and] playing their role to the best of their capabilities. If we’re able to sustain that on both sides of the ball, it’ll buy us time to really get everybody back in and fit into a position when we’re all back whole.”