Austin Reaves, the rising star of the Los Angeles Lakers, played a crucial role in the team’s semi-final win over the Golden State Warriors. He stepped up with 23 points and also blocked the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. From being an undrafted agent to playing in the finals of the Western Conference, Reaves has come a long way. It was also his career’s first playoffs, and he aced it like a true champion.
However, the rookie did feel the jitters prior to Game 6 due to his poor show in Game 2. Austin Reaves’ horror show in Game 2 gave Golden State Warriors an advantage as they leveled the series by 1-1. Hence, before the decisive playoff game, the guard revealed he was nervous, and his friends further added more pressure. Against the odds, the 24-year-old delivered and came home as a match-winner.
Austin Reaves Says Winning Against A Dynast Team Like Warriors Felt Special
Facing the defending champions, Golden State Warriors was never going to be a cakewalk for the Lakers. On top of that, the scoring giants like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were like a bomb waiting to explode. Despite the odds being stacked against them, the Lakers managed to edge past, thanks to the team’s all-around performance. The Lakers are no longer a team dependent on LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as they now have the likes of Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell to rely on. Meanwhile, Reaves, who was playing his first career playoffs, admitted to feeling nervous before the series.
In an interview, the Lakers guard revealed his friends texted him saying he is going to be a part of and also witness one of the biggest rivalries in the whole NBA, which put additional pressure on him. Also, Reaves has seen players like LeBron James and Steph Curry battling it out for so many years. On top of that, the Warriors are a dynast team with a record number of rings in the past several years. Hence, securing a win against them was a special moment in the guard’s career. Austin Reaves further revealed he had his brother fly down all the way from Germany to witness the most important game of his life, which made the win even more special. Overall, Austin is highly grateful to be a part of a special group like the Lakers and is looking forward to contributing to the much-awaited Western Conference Finals.
Lakers Will Face Trouble Retaining Reaves This Off-season
Austin Reaves is undoubtedly the emerging player of the season for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has rescued the team during crucial times and also earned the much-deserved trust and faith of the front office. However, the guard is all set to hit restricted free agency this off-season. Moreover, with his current form, NBA insider Shams Charania fears the Lakers might lose him in the free-agent market.
Shams says the most the Lakers can afford to offer is $50 million for a four-year contract. But he is afraid the guard could fetch more in the market, especially after his playoff heroics. The insider claims many teams are willing to offer a lot more than $50 million to steal Austin Reaves from the Lakers. Hence, it’s up to the 24-year-old to break down what’s best for him. It will all come down to choosing between loyalty and money. Regardless, it would be fun to watch which way Austin decides to head.