The Lakers and Nuggets met in the Western Conference Finals last season, but Denver ended up sweeping Los Angeles on its way to an NBA title.
Have the Lakers heard the Nuggets chirping since they won the championship? Austin Reaves: “I think everybody knows it was pointed at us” pic.twitter.com/PAHrwekZlx
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 3, 2023
“I think everybody knows it was pointed at us,” Reaves said. “They can do it indirectly if they want, but I think it was very obvious to the public eye. That’s why everybody was talking about it. You see stuff – me personally I try my best to stay off social media and look at all that stuff. To me, I go play every game the way – you know I’m gonna go play the first game against them. But I think it adds a little bit of motivation to go play really well.”
The Nuggets certainly earned a right to gloat after winning the title, but they seem to have lit a bit of a fire under Reaves and the Lakers heading into the 2023-2 regular season.
Even though the Lakers came up short last season, they may be better in the 2023-24 campaign after adding players like Taurean Prince, Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, Christian Wood and Cam Reddish in free agency.
The team also brought back Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell and Reaves on new deals.
Reaves received a four-year deal from the Lakers, which was extremely well earned after the performance he had in the 2022-23 season. He averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season.
Reaves was instrumental in the Lakers’ run to the Western Conference Finals, taking his game to another level in the playoffs alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
In the playoffs, Reaves averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 16 games while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 44.3 percent from 3-point range.
This offseason, Reaves had a chance play for Team USA at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, and he continued to show that his game can improve even more.
The Nuggets and Lakers are both expected to be in the conversation for the NBA title this coming season, so each matchup will already have a little more at stake.
The Lakers and Reaves can use the chirping from Denver last season as a reason to play their best game every time they face off this season.