The Los Angeles Lakers have been struggling with injuries and inconsistency this season, but they may have found a hidden gem in rookie guard Austin Reaves.
Reaves, who went undrafted out of Oklahoma, had a breakout performance on Sunday night against the Orlando Magic, scoring 15 of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers secure a 106-94 win.
Reaves was not shy about expressing his confidence during his scoring spree, as he shouted “I’m him” after hitting a clutch three-pointer with 3:11 left in the game.
The phrase, which means “I’m the man” or “I’m the one”, was picked up by the microphones and broadcasted to the viewers at home.
Reaves later explained that he was not trying to be disrespectful to the Magic, but rather to motivate himself and his teammates. “I’m just trying to bring energy,” Reaves said.
“I’m not trying to talk trash to anybody. I’m just trying to talk to myself, talk to my team, get us going. That’s all it is.”. .
Reaves’ confidence was not misplaced, as he showed off his versatility and skill on both ends of the floor. He shot 7-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and added four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 26 minutes off the bench.
He also played solid defense on Magic star Cole Anthony, who was held to 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting.
Reaves’ performance earned him praise from his teammates and coaches, who recognized his hard work and potential. LeBron James, who missed the game due to health and safety protocols, tweeted “That boy Austin Reaves is SPECIAL!! Love his game and his approach”.
Anthony Davis, who led the Lakers with 28 points and nine rebounds, said “He’s a dog. He’s fearless. He’s not afraid of the moment”. Frank Vogel, who gave Reaves more minutes due to the absence of several players, said “He’s got a lot of guts.
He’s got a lot of game”.
Reaves has been a pleasant surprise for the Lakers this season, as he has proven to be a reliable contributor in limited minutes. He is averaging 4.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 13.6 minutes per game, while shooting 46.7 percent from the field and 40 percent from three-point range.
He has also shown a knack for making big plays in crunch time, as he hit a game-winning layup against the Dallas Mavericks on November 15.
Reaves’ journey to the NBA was not easy, as he had to overcome several obstacles and doubts along the way. He started his college career at Wichita State, where he played two seasons before transferring to Oklahoma.
He sat out one year due to NCAA rules, then became a star for the Sooners in his final two seasons. He averaged 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists as a senior, earning All-Big 12 First Team honors.
Despite his impressive resume, Reaves was not invited to the NBA draft combine or selected in the draft. He signed with the Lakers as a free agent and impressed them during the summer league and training camp.
He earned a two-way contract with the team, which allows him to split time between the NBA and the G League.
Reaves said he never gave up on his dream of playing in the NBA, even when others doubted him. “I’ve always believed in myself,” Reaves said. “I’ve always had confidence in myself.
I’ve always had people around me that believed in me. So I never really listened to the outside noise.”. .
Reaves’ story is an inspiration for anyone who has faced adversity and rejection in their pursuit of their goals. He has shown that with hard work, perseverance and self-belief, anything is possible.
He has also shown that he belongs in the NBA, and that he is not afraid of any challenge or opponent.
Reaves may not be a household name yet, but he is making a strong case for more playing time and recognition with his stellar play. He has proven that he can be an impact player for the Lakers, who are looking for more consistency and depth as they chase another championship.
As Reaves shouted on Sunday night, he is him. And he is here to stay.
Final Thoughts: Lakers’ Rookie Austin Reaves Makes a Statement with Breakout Performance
The Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie guard Austin Reaves had a career night against the Orlando Magic, scoring 15 of his career-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and helping his team secure a 106-94 win.
Reaves’ performance was not only impressive, but also a statement that he belongs in the NBA and that he can be a reliable contributor for the Lakers.
Reaves’ confidence and energy were on full display during his scoring spree, as he shouted “I’m him” after hitting a clutch three-pointer. Although some may perceive his words as trash talk, Reaves explained that he was simply trying to motivate himself and his teammates.
His confidence was not misplaced, as he showed off his versatility and skill on both ends of the floor, including solid defense on Magic star Cole Anthony.
Reaves’ journey to the NBA was not easy, as he had to overcome several obstacles and doubts along the way. However, his hard work, perseverance, and self-belief have paid off, as he has proven that he can be a valuable asset for the Lakers.
Reaves’ breakout performance is not only a testament to his talent and potential, but also a reminder that hidden gems can be found outside of the draft and that hard work and determination can overcome adversity.
Reaves’ story is inspiring and his performance is a promising sign for the Lakers, who are looking for more consistency and depth as they chase another championship.
In conclusion, Austin Reaves’ breakout performance against the Orlando Magic was a statement that he belongs in the NBA and that he can be a reliable contributor for the Lakers.
His journey to the NBA is inspiring and his performance is a promising sign for his future in the league. As Reaves shouted on Sunday night, he is him, and he is here to stay.