Austin Reaves Impresses in Preseason Start, Lakers Eye Strong Season Ahead

Lakers shooting guard Austin Reaves showcased his skills in a preseason start, signaling a promising season ahead for LA.

In a dazzling display on the hardwood, Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Austin Reaves left fans and teammates alike in awe during his first start of the preseason. This promising performance by Reaves serves as a testament to the talent that has set the basketball world ablaze over the past year.

Fresh off inking a new contract and following his recent participation in the FIBA World Cup, Reaves wasted no time impressing those around him with his athletic prowess this offseason. One key observer of Reaves’ remarkable skills was none other than Russell Westbrook himself. Their paths converged in a trade deadline deal that ultimately solidified them as LA’s playoff backcourt.

The Lakers’ season outlook appeared rather bleak before they traded Westbrook in a package deal that included Russell. This move left a void that Reaves was quick to fill, excelling as an aggressive handler in the pick and roll and an assertive driver to the basket.

One significant area where Reaves made his mark was at the free-throw line. Last season, the Lakers often found themselves facing free throw discrepancies compared to their opponents. Reaves played a pivotal role in bridging this gap, boasting an impressive 86% free throw percentage while averaging 4.1 attempts per game.

As the new season approaches, Reaves is poised to take on a larger role than ever before, building on the valuable experiences he gained over the summer. This newfound stability is crucial, especially considering the return of last year’s starting postseason backcourt, both on new contracts. Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka has emphasized continuity, and Reaves’ four-year deal underscores the team’s commitment to him. However, questions linger around Russell, particularly in light of Gabe Vincent’s acquisition as a starting-level guard.

The regular season will soon unveil the true story, and the Lakers will kick off their 2023-24 NBA campaign with a highly anticipated clash against the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets. Revenge is on the minds of many within the organization, and the Lakers will rely on Reaves’ on-court skills rather than his off-court links to ensure a strong start to the season.

Key Takeaways:

  • Austin Reaves showcased his skills in his first preseason start, indicating a bright future with the Lakers.
  • Reaves’ impressive performance comes after securing a new contract and participating in the FIBA World Cup.
  • With Russell Westbrook’s departure, Reaves has embraced a more significant role on the team, excelling in various aspects, including free-throw shooting.

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Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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