Bold Postseason Prediction Cast on Lakers Amid Austin Reaves’ ‘Remarkable’ Run

Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers

Since making a flurry of deals at the February 9 trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked like a team capable of making serious noise in the postseason.

Currently, the Lakers find themselves sitting 7th in the Western Conference, one game out of the fifth seed, which is currently occupied by the LA Clippers, who defeated the Lakers on April 5.

However, according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Lakers should be seen as legitimate championship contenders should they make it to the postseason, either via seeding or via the play-in tournament.

“There’s real shooting and playmaking depth on this roster, and the play of Austin Reaves over the last month (18.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 56.1 percent shooting overall) has been remarkable,” Swartz wrote. “From a 2-10 start to the season to 7-2 in their last nine games, these Lakers are true title contenders if healthy.”
Los Angeles currently has two games remaining on their regular-season schedule, one against the Phoenix Suns and the other against the Utah Jazz, and could potentially climb as high as fifth in their conference should other results go their way.

LeBron James Has Faith in Austin Reaves

During the Lakers’ April 4 victory over the Jazz, Austin Reaves hit a big-time shot during overtime to help his team seal the victory and keep the pressure in the race to finish in the top-6.

When speaking to the media following the game, LeBron James credited Reaves performance, noting how his teammates trust him in the big moments after coming through in the clutch on multiple occasions throughout the season.

“We went to him. That was a set play,” James said. “We went right to AR with one of our set calls, and he was able to come off and hit a pull-up two. A big shot. We needed that. We trust AR to make plays. I mean, he’s been doing it all year. So, no second guessing there.”

Reaves came away from that game with a statline of 28 points, 3 rebounds, and 6 assists while shooting 61.5% from the field and 57.1% from deep in 41 minutes of playing time.

LeBron James Wants Lakers to Build Chemistry

Speaking to the media following the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers on April 5, LeBron pointed to the inconsistencies in his team’s rotation since the trade deadline, with multiple injury issues forcing Darvin Ham to get creative.

“Obviously, since the trade [deadline], we’ve been playing some good basketball,” James said. “But the one thing we’ve been lacking a little bit is just the consistency of our lineups. And obviously, I was out for four weeks, and D-Lo has kind of been in and out. But for the majority of it, guys have definitely stepped up. So, with these last two games, you definitely want to see if we can figure something out as far as our chemistry. But at the end of the day, we’ve still been playing good ball. So, not thinking about that too much.”

With only two games left before the regular season draws to a close, the Lakers will have limited time to develop an understanding between their core rotation. Fortunately, the postseason is long, which should give Lakers fans hope that their team can figure things out.

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