Austin Reaves had a great season last time in the NBA. He became a fan favorite and the third most valuable player of the Los Angeles Lakers. Later, he represented Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. Fans regarded him as the best player in the American team. Unfortunately, Team USA was unable to win a single medal in the World Cup. They finished fourth. On the other hand, Austin’s former Lakers teammate Dennis Schroder helped Team Germany win their maiden World Cup. Moreover, Schroder also won the MVP of the FIBA World Cup. Hence, Reaves and the Lakers will deeply miss him in the next season. Schroder played an essential role last season for the LA side to make the postseason and even reach the Western Conference Finals.
This offseason, Dennis Schroder signed with the Toronto Raptors. To fill in for Schroder’s place, the Lakers signed Gabe Vincent from the Miami Heat. Moreover, Vincent played an essential role for the Heat to help them reach the last NBA Finals. But this season, the Lakers Nation will hope Vincent can play a similar role for their franchise as well. However, Gabe Vincent sustained a knee injury and will stay out for at least two weeks. Hence, the onus falls on Austin Reaves to provide quality support to the James-Davis duo. However, Reaves did not have a great start to his third NBA season.
Lakers Need Austin Reaves To Step Up In The Absence Of Gabe Vincent
Clearly, Austin Reaves is struggling in the new season. But why? Is the sudden rise to stardom a little too much to handle for the Arkansas Native? Whatever it is, the Lakers need him right now more than ever. Moreover, the Lakers are becoming one of the more injured sides yet again. In the preseason, they lost Jarred Vanderbilt due to heel bursitis. The doctors will evaluate Vando again in the next two weeks. Moreover, Rui Hachimura and Taurean Prince are also unavailable because of injuries. Lately, Gabe Vincent sustained a left knee injury. Hence, now the Lakers need the rest of the top eight players to stay healthy and take the onus for winning games. Moreover, Cam Reddish and Max Christie can provide quality support as well.
But everybody is looking at the struggling Austin Reaves. With five turnovers, he scored an inefficient 15 points. In the last game against the Clippers, he made a few defensive lapses. Later, Austin Reaves told the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez that every athlete wants to make shots, and he holds himself to a high standard. But every player goes through these phases, and it is essential that they figure out a way from this lean patch. Fans, coaches and teammates have strong expectations of Austin Reaves that he’ll bounce back sooner rather than later.
Darvin Ham Revealed Why AR Is Struggling
The Lakers coach spoke to Hernandez about Reaves as well. Ham mentioned that at this point everybody’s aware of the skill level of the Arkansas Native. The Lakers coach is aware of the summer Austin Reaves had with Team USA. Hence, Darvin Ham mentioned he is just in the process of working through the tough phase.
AR is no longer Ham’s secret weapon. Hence, Reaves must fight through the fatigue he must be feeling at present. After all, the Lakers Faithful sees a great future for the Oklahoma Sooners kid. That’s why Austin Reaves can’t slow down. He has a long way to go. The team is aware of that as well as he is.