LeBron James can’t stop praising Austin Reaves’ basketball IQ after Lakers win 128-109 over Blazers

Zach Stevens
2 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers may not have enough productive role players or complementary players to be a championship contender, but they do have one in Austin Reaves.

Reaves had a very efficient 22 points in Wednesday’s 128-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, and LeBron James praised him right after the final horn.

The undrafted second-year man helped L.A. overcome an early deficit by attacking the basket and drawing fouls. As the game wore on, he started to hit from the field, as he made 7-of-10 shots overall and 2-of-5 from 3-point range. He also added five rebounds, three assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

Reaves has shown the ability to fake the outside shot and not only drive to the basket but also put some hesitation moves on his defender to free himself up for chippies in the paint.

Dating back to his rookie season last year, he has also shown a good instinctual feel for the game, which allows him to make the right pass at the right time while not allowing opposing players to speed him up too much.

When Reaves wasn’t doing his thing, James was raining in treys, as he tossed in 6-of-8 from downtown and finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

Behind Reaves, James and Anthony Davis, who added 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, the Lakers built up a large lead in the third quarter.

On Monday, they held a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter, only to become complacent and lose 116-115 to the Indiana Pacers. But this time, they continued to be aggressive down the stretch, and they refused to give up any bit of their advantage on the scoreboard.

For the Blazers, Damian Lillard was out because of a calf injury, and Los Angeles took full advantage, even though it was a bit shorthanded itself, as Lonnie Walker IV and Troy Brown Jr. didn’t suit up.

Share This Article
Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.