The start of the NBA season has brought high expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers, especially for their young and talented guard, Austin Reaves. Expected to be the third star alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Reaves is facing criticism as he struggles to live up to these lofty expectations. In Sunday night’s closely fought 132-127 overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings, his performance left much to be desired.

Fans Undermining Austin Reaves’ Potential

Reaves, a 25-year-old guard, hasn’t yet demonstrated the star quality that Lakers fans had hoped for. In the game against the Kings, his shooting was not accurate, and he only scored five points. He made just one of twelve field goal attempts and one of eight three-point attempts. This disappointing performance raised concerns about his ability to deliver consistently for the team.

Austin Reaves
NBA/Austin Reaves

Reaves’ contribution wasn’t limited to just his scoring. His all-around game, which was expected to be a significant asset, was also underwhelming. He collected just two rebounds, made two assists, and recorded a single steal during his 28 minutes on the court. However, he also had three turnovers during that time. The team benched him during the game due to his concerning performance. Gabe Vincent replaced him as the Lakers fought to force overtime.

NBA: Why Is LeBron James Not Happy?

The current state of the team’s chemistry isn’t pleasing LeBron James, the face of the Lakers. During the offseason, the Lakers made significant changes to their roster by adding new players like Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, and Jarred Vanderbilt. They also retained key players, including Austin Reaves. Despite their success following the All-Star break, James acknowledges that the chemistry is a work in progress. After a 100-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns, LeBron spoke about the team’s continuity, saying, “It’s not where I want it to be, but that’s okay because it’s only the second game of the season.” He emphasized the need for patience as they integrate new players and develop their chemistry.

LeBron James 30 2023 4
NBA/LeBron James

The Lakers face challenging games ahead, including matchups against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. As their schedule becomes less challenging, the Lakers will have a chance to enhance their team chemistry. This improvement in teamwork is crucial for a successful season. While Austin Reaves’ struggles have led to questions about his readiness for the third-star role, the Lakers recognize that building chemistry takes time. With a roster featuring both seasoned veterans and new additions, they understand that early-season hiccups are part of the process. As the season unfolds, the Lakers aim to find their rhythm and fulfill their potential as a competitive force in the Western Conference.