The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks in overtime on Wednesday and the hero was not who anyone expected before the game. With the game tied at 104 in the closing moments, Russell Westbrook found a wide-open Reaves on the elbow.
Reaves drained the three with nine-tenths of a second remaining on the clock and the game was all-but official. The undrafted free agent who was not even on the Lakers roster a month before the season began hit the game-winning shot on primetime.
It was obviously a very cool moment, not just for Laker fans but for basketball fans and even Reaves’ fellow teammates. The veteran-ladened Lakers made sure to give Reaves a hero’s welcome that he would not forget in the locker room for his clutch heroics.
This could not have come at a better time for the Lakers. The team has been struggling to get any sort of momentum this season and had to deal with three positive covid-19 tests that delayed their flight to Dallas. Having a great feel-good moment like this in a win is something that can propel the team to finally string some consecutive wins together.
Austin Reaves is a huge feel-good story for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Austin Reaves has had to grind for everything he has earned thus far in his basketball career and the fact that he has gotten his chance with a team like the Lakers is quite remarkable. The Lakers fell in love with his work ethic and ability to soak up knowledge and gave him a roster spot this season to inject some youth into the roster.
Reaves was not expected to have much of a role on the team this season but there have been so many injuries that he has been forced into the rotation much sooner than expected. And while there have been hiccups along the way, he has been playing tremendously for an undrafted free agent.
Reaves is already drawing comparisons to Alex Caruso because of their upbringing on the Lakers. Reaves is not as naturally talented on the defensive end as Caruso but he certainly has the work ethic and the motor that Caruso possesses. Laker fans love players who put the hours in and that is why Reaves is already becoming a fan favorite.
This is the first of potentially many memorable moments for Austin Reaves and it could not have come at a better time for the Lakers.