Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves is having a moment for Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. After first getting mainstream buzz in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Reaves has catapulted his value as he has looked like one of the best players on Team USA.
Reaves and Team USA took on Greece early Monday morning and the former undrafted rookie put on an absolute display, leading all of Team USA in scoring with 15 points off the bench.
This wasn’t just a 15-point effort for Reaves, though. It was a 15-point effort in which Reaves looked like the best player on the entire floor. Sometimes a player can score 15 points in a game and it is mundane. Other times, that player stands out with highlight-reel plays that are bound to get Lakers fans excited.
I mean, c’mon now. The level of competition might not be the highest in this game against Greece but Reaves has no business having that kind of ball-handling and finishing ability to get to the rim. Then again, Reaves has crossed over some of the best players in the NBA, so maybe we all just need to catch up.
Reaves didn’t just showcase his incredible ball-handling, though. He also showcased his smooth stroke, making four of seven shots from the field and all six of his free throws.
There were several other great plays by Reaves both on the offensive end and defensive end. It really was a fantastic showing for the Lakers guard, earning him Player of the Game honors from FIBA.
Austin Reaves is proving that he is a true star in the NBA
Those who didn’t believe the Austin Reaves hype before the World Cup are probably starting to buy it now. Reaves is a legitimate player who is going to play a big role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ quest to win the NBA Championship in 2024.
This is exactly the kind of summer that Lakers fans should want Reaves to have. Time and time again we have seen players like Reaves — who are on the cusp of breaking out — play in these international tournaments and it makes them better professionals as a result.
Reaves is surrounding himself with some of the best young stars in the game and is outplaying many of them. He is doing this all while soaking in the knowledge of a star-studded Team USA coaching staff. Playing on this kind of stage will only do great things for Austin Reaves.