Austin Rivers says Austin Reaves skill level is not even in the ‘same realm’ as Jordan Poole’s
“He’s nowhere near Jordan Poole.”
(Via @ringernba )
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) May 22, 2023
Reaves and Poole entered the NBA in vastly different ways. Reaves signed with the Lakers in 2021 as an undrafted free agent, while Poole was taken by the Warriors with the 28th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
From the Warriors’ perspective, Poole has likely lived up to the expectations they had for him four years ago. This regular season, he averaged 20.4 points, 4.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game, making 43 starts.
After a relatively quiet rookie season, Reaves really began to make his presence felt during the 2022-23 regular season. Starting in 22 of his 64 appearances, Reaves averaged 13.0 points, 3.4 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Once the 2023 playoffs began, Reaves began to get a lot of more attention from the NBA world. In the Lakers’ first playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Reaves exploded in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 23 points and leading the team to victory.
Later on in that series, Reaves had another 23-point performance in the Lakers’ clutch Game 4 overtime victory. That win gave them a commanding 3-1 lead in the series and helped end the series in six games.
Against Poole and the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, Reaves scored in double figures in five of the six games. That included scoring more than 20 points in two of the final three games.
In contrast, Poole’s presence was hardly felt after a 21-point performance in Game 1. Over the remaining five contests, he scored a total of just 29 points.
Despite the Lakers’ three losses to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, Reaves has done his part in keeping them within striking distance in the games. So far in the series, he’s recording 22.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game on 55.0 percent shooting from the field and 56.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
There are certainly plenty of fans that believe Reaves is a better player and more skillful than Poole. On the other hand, there are undoubtedly many people out there who prefer Poole as a player.
However, the upward trajectory of Reaves’ career gives Lakers fans a big reason to smile.