“Everybody’s vibing and having a lot of fun” Austin Reaves gives insight on Lakers players’ mindset after third straight victory

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors by a score of 122-112 on Friday night to earn their third straight victory. D’Angelo Russell had a tremendous effort, scoring 28 points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out nine assists while shooting an effective 10/17 from the field. Dennis Schröder and Austin Reaves were not far behind with their efforts bringing them 23 and 18 points, respectively. 

The Lakers are now 33-34 in 67 games with this victory, which has moved them up to the ninth position in the Western Conference rankings. The group has recently been on a roll, going 7-3 in their last ten contests. They are currently only one game back of a tie for the sixth seed, which would guarantee them a spot in the postseason.

The Lakers’ excellent recent performance is evidence of the team’s perseverance and resolves to achieve despite the numerous difficulties they have encountered this season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are two significant players who have been injured frequently for the squad. Nonetheless, they were able to endure and had amazing grit to prevail.

The Lakers will host the New York Knicks in their upcoming game on Sunday night in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers will want to keep the momentum going and increase their winning run with their confidence and momentum at an all-time high.

What did Austin Reaves say after the Raptors game?

Following the team’s recent victories, Austin Reaves gave insight into the Lakers’ locker room, stating that the players are not content with their current position and are determined to keep pushing for more. “We’re not satisfied with where we’re at. We’re going to keep trying to take another step and another step and take it game by game, but as of right now, everybody’s vibing and having a lot of fun,” he said.

With the Lakers’ collective mindset focused on progress and continuous improvement, the team is set to overcome any obstacles that come their way and reach their full potential.

How Has Anthony Davis Anchored the Lakers’ Stifling Defense in LeBron James’ Absence?

The Los Angeles Lakers have managed to thrive in the Western Conference standings despite LeBron James’ absence, thanks in part to their stifling defense anchored by Anthony Davis. Since the NBA trade deadline, the Lakers have achieved the best defensive rating in the league and the second-lowest effective field-goal percentage allowed to their opponents. Davis has been the fulcrum of the defense, leading the pack in allowing the stingiest field-goal percentage against him.

The game-plan has worked in lockstep with Davis’ abilities to help fortify the defense. As the cornerstone of Darvin Ham’s drop coverage, Davis has leveraged his quick feet and condor-like wingspan to deter shots near the basket while also getting out to contain pick-and-rolls.

Austin Reaves
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves” Lakers center Anthony Davis optimistic about playoff push despite LeBron James’ injury misfortune.

The team’s new surrounding pieces, namely Jarred Vanderbilt, have allowed Davis to occupy more of a roamer role instead of needing to defend the opposing team’s best big on every possession. The combination of the drop and new frontcourt is achieving Ham’s continued goal of forcing the opposition to “play inside the 3-point line.”

The Lakers have aggressively shifted their defensive strategy to not just sag off weaker perimeter shooters but almost ignore them completely in hopes that the data wins out. The tactic has seen the team’s defenders cheat off their assignment and camp out in the paint, not even offering as much as a courtesy closeout once the shooter finally lets it fly.

While the strategy has received some pushback, the larger sample has strongly suggested it’s been a net positive, as no team is allowing a lower 3-point percentage than the Lakers since the trade deadline. However, there are of course, limitations and times when adjusting is appropriate.

Tahsin Tahmid

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Tahsin Tahmid is a part of the editorial panel of Sports Zion. As a sports and art-loving person, he has the vision to provide authentic information. Being an optimist, he hopes to bring the world closer by spreading love. The NFL is Tahmid's favorite league, and following it, he is a massive fan of Tom Brady and Joe Burrow. On the other hand, when it comes to the NBA, Tahsin loves watching LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo perform.


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