Austin Reaves recalls the Memphis Grizzlies beating the ‘s–t‘ out of him during the playoffs

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

The 2022-23 NBA season gave Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves his first taste of the playoffs, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to forget the experience anytime soon.

The rising star, who played a key role for the Lakers during their run to the Western Conference Finals, recently recalled what it was like having the Memphis Grizzlies “beat the s—” out of him during the first round of the playoffs.

“Reaves says his teammates have also helped increase his level of self-belief,” wrote The Ringer’s Mirin Fader. “He remembers a conversation with [LeBron] James and [Anthony] Davis after Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals against the [Golden State] Warriors. Reaves had struggled in the Lakers’ blowout win and in the two games prior, still fatigued from the Lakers’ first-round series against the Grizzlies. ‘I was drained,’ Reaves says. ‘I had to chase [Grizzlies guard] Desmond Bane around for six games. They beat the s— out of me, so I was tired, and then obviously was chasing Stephen Curry around too, so my legs were shot, and I couldn’t make a shot.’ But he snapped out of it, finishing strong in the second half of Game 3.”

For as much as the Grizzlies may have drained Reaves in the first round, the 25-year-old did an admirable job of getting back on track during the remainder of L.A.’s playoff run — even with a slow start to the second round.

Reaves averaged 17.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from deep over L.A.’s remaining 10 games after the Grizzlies series ended.

The guard’s playoff run overall helped solidify his status as an irreplaceable member of the Lakers, and this offseason, the organization rewarded him with a four-year contract.

Now entering his third NBA season, Reaves is expected by many to play an even bigger role for the Lakers going forward. He only started 22 games during the 2022-23 regular season, but he was a consistent starter during the 2023 playoffs, and that’s expected to continue when the Lakers open their season next week.

The playoff experience Reaves gained last season should be invaluable for him in the future, especially with the Lakers looking to make another deep run in the 2024 postseason. The Western Conference has no shortage of contenders, but L.A. is certainly talented enough to crash the party.

Reaves’ third season will officially get underway on Oct. 24 when the Lakers face the Denver Nuggets on the road in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.