Lakers’ Austin Reaves Sends Message on Rest of Season: ‘Not Much Rocket Science’

Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Austin Reaves #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers went into the All-Star break riding a three-game winning streak. And they won six of their last seven contests going into their next matchup. That is a road date against the Golden State Warriors on February 22.

They have just a 1.5-game lead on the Warriors for ninth place in the Western Conference standings, adding to the significance of the contest.

As far as Austin Reaves is concerned, the Lakers just need to keep doing what they have been.

“It’s just continuing to play the game the right way,” Reaves said, per Matthew Valento of Lakers Nation on February 21. “It’s not much rocket science behind it, it’s just if we have to, we’ll go back and watch the games where we played well and just replicate that. You can’t control always making shots or missing shots and all that but you can control effort and playing the right way.”

Reaves has stepped up since Head Coach Darvin Ham reinserted him into the starting lineup, averaging 17.0 points on 64% true shooting. He is connecting on 37.6% of his threes with 6.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game over his last 22 games.

That is a notable sample size. And Reaves is averaging more points than his earlier stint as a starter and as a reserve. He is also keeping his efficiency up from behind the three-point line.

Reaves’s three-point shooting is especially key for this Lakers team.

The Lakers rank 13th in deep efficiency, per But they are 30th in three-pointers attempted, connecting at a better clip but with less frequency than last season. Perhaps the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie will be a spark for both parties.

Dinwiddie came in shooting 32% on the season and has shot 33.3% in two games with the Lakers.

Austin Reaves Stands Out in Injury-Marred Season for Lakers

The Lakers will not catch a break on the injury front despite the layoff of the All-Star break. They are without LeBron James for their return matchup against the Warriors. He is sitting out with the ankle injury with which he has dealt all season.

They will also be without Christian Wood for the next two weeks while Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent both remain sidelined.

Reaves is one of five players in the NBA to appear in every game this season. But injuries have been an issue all season long.

Ham pointed to the Lakers’ injuries during their struggles earlier in the season. They have been fortunate that James and Anthony Davis – who is probable to face Golden State – have remained healthy for much of the season.

LeBron James & Anthony Davis’ Health is Lakers Insider’s Top Storyline

“Will LeBron and AD hold up the rest of the way?” The Athletic’s Jovan Buha wrote on February 22. “This is the defining question of the Lakers’ season — as it always is.”

“Both players have sustained injuries that caused them to miss at least a few weeks in each of the past three seasons. Can they remain healthy? Can they survive their larger-than-expected workloads? This is the question that will determine not only Los Angeles’ seeding but also its odds in any postseason matchup.”

Buha highlighted James’ short-lived minutes restriction. He noted that the Lakers’ star duo is on pace to miss their fewest combined games since the 2019-20 season.

The Lakers came away from that season as NBA champions, albeit in a special situation.