Austin Reaves says going head to head with Stephen Curry is ‘hell’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves shared what it was like going head to head with Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry in the playoffs during the 2022-23 season.


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“It’s honestly hell,” Reaves said. “But just the way he moves without the ball, the way – I mean, it’s honestly their system, too. It fits him to perfection. You literally can’t ever relax.”

Reaves also shared that guarding Curry and Klay Thompson impacted his offensive game, as he didn’t have the legs to knock down his shots.

Despite having to deal with Curry, Reaves and the Lakers ended up beating the Warriors in six games to advance to the Western Conference Finals in the 2022-23 season.

Curry had a solid series, averaging 26.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc against the Lakers.

But Reaves and Los Angeles did a good job limiting Curry’s open looks, and he shot much lower from 3 in that series compared to his 2022-23 regular season percentage of 42.7.

Golden State does a great job of setting screens and allowing Curry to move off the ball to get open looks, which can take a toll on any player that is guarding him.

Since the Lakers were relying on Reaves so heavily on offense, he certainly had to make some adjustments during the second-round series. Despite struggling in Games 1 and 2 (Reaves shot just 7-for-20 from the field in those games), the Lakers guard rebounded nicely to close out the series.

He dropped 21 points in Game 4 in Los Angeles before turning in a 23-point performance to help clinch the series in Game 6.

Overall for the playoffs, Reaves was terrific for the Lakers. He averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per contest across 16 games while shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 44.3 percent from deep.

His play helped him earn a new four-year deal with the Lakers this offseason.

Reaves may have to prepare to face Curry in a playoff series again in the 2023-24 season as both the Lakers and Warriors have their sights set on competing for the NBA title.

As long as Curry and LeBron James are healthy, both teams should be amongst the best in the West this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.