Austin Reaves on Darvin Ham possibly using 3-guard lineups: ‘Uhhh…that is the first time I heard that’

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Austin Reaves reacted to the idea floated by head coach Darvin Ham that the Los Angeles Lakers could use a three-guard lineup with Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and newcomer Spencer Dinwiddie to close out games.

“Ummm….you sayin’ that is the first time I heard that,” Reaves said. “But at the end of the day, anytime you’re on the court, you compete to win. … Assuming that the other two are Bron (LeBron James) and A.D. (Anthony Davis), that’s in my opinion a really talented five that can do a lot of different things and compete at a high level.

“But like I said, the last couple days is really just tryin’ to get him (Dinwiddie) comfortable. One, just bein’ hisself and not really trying to fit in too much. We want him to go be hisself.”

Dinwiddie is a recent addition having signed with the Lakers after he agreed to a buyout with the Toronto Raptors after being traded to them by the Brooklyn Nets prior to the NBA trade deadline.

Ham said the 30-year-old’s size, on-ball defense and offensive ability could put him on the court in closing lineups with Reaves and Russell. Dinwiddie’s presence could become important with the Lakers having to play without injured Jarred Vanderbilt (foot), who is arguably their best wing defender.

Los Angeles also is without Gabe Vincent (knee) and Max Christie (ankle) because of injuries. They as well as Vanderbilt will be re-evaluated after the NBA All-Star break.

After winning four of their past five games, the Lakers have a 28-26 record and are in ninth place in the Western Conference entering play Tuesday. They face the lowly Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Dinwiddie has expressed a lot of confidence in what the Lakers are capable of the rest of this season. He recently said they can “rise to a level that no other team can get to.” The Los Angeles native reportedly chose to sign with the Lakers over the Dallas Mavericks, where he played during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.

This season, Dinwiddie played in 48 games for Brooklyn, averaging 12.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from 3-point range.

In recent games, Russell has been playing much better than earlier in the season, when he was removed from the starting lineup for a time. He is averaging 17.5 points and 6.2 assists per game in his 49 appearances this season.

Reaves is averaging 15.7 points and 5.4 assists per game in his 54 contests. Having him on the court in a three-guard set with Russell and Dinwiddie could prove to be a key strategic maneuver if it is able to propel the Lakers to a long playoff run.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.