He’s unlikely to get any votes, but Austin Reaves still appreciated the “MVP” chants from Lakers fans Sunday night, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Reaves came off the bench to deliver 35 points in a narrow win over Orlando that lifted L.A. into a tie for ninth place in the tight Western Conference playoff race.
“For them to recognize what I do — obviously not an MVP-caliber player, those guys are really good — but for them to do that for me is special, it means a lot to me,” he said.
It was a career-high scoring night for Reaves, but it wasn’t out of character. Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times points out that Reaves has become a dependable part of the offense since LeBron James was sidelined by a foot injury three weeks ago. He has failed to reach 13 points just once since James got hurt, and he has helped the Lakers post a 6-5 record without their star.
There’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Suns coach Monty Williams indicated that rotation changes may be coming after Sunday’s loss at Oklahoma City, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Williams was frustrated after watching a double-digit lead slip away in the fourth quarter. “This one’s on me,” he said. “I’ve got to get guys in the game that can create a rhythm, especially on defense. We’re giving up way too many 30-point quarters, consecutively. That’s on me. I have to figure out the guys who can play together defensively as opposed to the starters to increase the momentum from an offensive and defensive standpoint.”
- Associate head coach Dan Craig picked up his first win guiding the Clippers Sunday night, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. Craig was filling in for head coach Tyronn Lue, who was able to coach the team on Saturday, but didn’t make the flight to Portland because of a non-COVID illness. Craig said Lue is expected “back soon.”
- The Kings didn’t have shooting guard Kevin Huerter and forward Trey Lyles in Saturday’s win over Washington, and both are listed as questionable for tonight’s contest at Utah, notes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Huerter has a strain in his right knee area, while Lyles is experiencing soreness in his right shoulder.
14 thoughts on “Pacific Notes: Reaves, M. Williams, Lue, Kings”
this lakers team is nuts, without reaves their season is over.
And the jazz wanted THT…
I just have this thought, and I know my Bulls team has just as many struggles as the Lakers, But I have to know, even if the Lakers move up and secure the 8th Seed. Can this really be considered a successful season, has the bar really been put that low that just the Lakers making the play in gives enough confidence to keep contending with this team, even if they were to make it out of the play-in (big IF) they’re not gonna make a run, its not gonna happen.
Given how they were expected to outright flatline into the Wemby sweepstakes and then get their pick taken by the Pels, at the very least the 8th seed can be considered a moral victory. And given how weird the West has been this year, anyone winning out of the top eight wouldn’t necessarily surprise me.
The 6th-13th seeds are all within 5 games of eachother and considering how much better they came out of the trade deadline and how well theyve stayed afloat with the injuries, I would say its a success. If westbrook was still on this team they would not be making the playoffs with lebron injured this long.
As I said, Austin Reaves is poor man Michael Jordan LOL
If I were a gm, I would pay him 3-year $60 million this season
You are comparing him to Michael Jordan? Huh? $20 million a season? Cut that in half by at least 50%.
Purely in terms of playstyle, I can see where he’s coming from. Reaves and an older Jordan have a fair bit in common in terms of defensive style, shot preferences, and general motions. It’s like watching a dime-store version of 2000’s Jordan.
While his contract will inevitably be an overpay, his play this season on a struggling Laker team has earned him a pay day. True value is probably $13-16 million a year. I can easily see someone willing to pay 19-22 million, especially the Lakers…
“MVP” and “narrow win over Orlando” don’t really belong in the same sentence lol
Agreed. Reeves got the fans pumped up though. Watching the Lakers struggle against Orlando, Houston, and even Dallas, even if they make the play-in my expectations are low.
Not trying to take anything away from Reaves just a funny juxtaposition. Just hope he doesn’t go the way of Caruso, but seems like he wants to be in LA.
Totally get it. Lakers really should have kept Caruso. Picking THT instead was a gamble they lost.