Darvin Ham, LeBron praise Austin Reaves after Lakers-Suns game

Sep 26, 2022; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reeves (15) speaks during Lakers Media Day at UCLA Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers lost 119-115 to the Phoenix Suns last night, extending their current preseason losing streak to 10 games across three different campaigns. That opening sentence may lead you to believe that the night was not a fun one for the players, coaches, and us fans. However, that Suns game and the Kings game on Monday has shown us, no matter how bad the winless preseason was last year, that wins don’t necessarily need to happen in these games for the Lakers to show us improvements over last season.

Sure, it’s pretty easy to have improvements over last season. Hell, just general effort is a breath of fresh air these days. But that doesn’t mean last season was all bad. We got to meet Austin Reaves who became a key member of the team as an undrafted rookie. After he has seemingly had a great summer including an improvement on his body, he will most likely be a key rotation player yet again, especially if you believe the statements that Darvin Ham and LeBron James gave late Wednesday evening.

In Wednesday’s game, Austin Reaves stuffed the stat sheet with six points, nine (!!!) assists, seven rebounds (including two offensive boards), three steals, and two blocks. The nine assists are especially note-worthy, as it seems that Ham’s offensive system will ask everyone — not just LeBron James and Russell Westbrook — to be able to play-make on the fly. Reaves has playmaking chops dating back to his days as a primary initiator with the Oklahoma Sooners, and so far, he’s shown that that ability will translate to the NBA.

Update on Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis was set to start in this game against the Suns, however, he was a last minute scratch from the lineup due to lower back tightness (Wenyen Gabriel replaced him in the starting lineup and played just as well if not better than Reaves). Davis was listed as probable for Monday’s game against the Kings with the same back issue.

The team stated before the game that this was out of an abundance of caution, with Ham stating the same after the game while also ruling Davis (as well as LeBron and Russ) out of tonight’s game against the Timberwolves.

It’s definitely not fun to see Davis missing the second game of the preseason due to health issues. Not only has the media and the Lakers fans placed an emphasis on this team needing Davis to have any sort of success this season, but Ham and the rest of the actual team members have done so as well. It would be detrimental to the season if this back issue carried on into the regular season.

Luckily, these are preseason games. This wouldn’t be the first time that a superstar was held out with an innocent and non-problematic injury. Hopefully this is one of those cases, with Davis ready to go for later games in the preseason… but most importantly… opening night against the Warriors.

LeBron comments on Wembanyama, owning a Las Vegas team

This Lakers-Suns game was in Las Vegas, with the preceding Tuesday featuring a highly anticipated game between the G-League Ignite and the french basketball team Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92. The Ignite are led by Scoot Henderson while the french team is led by Victor Wembanyama, two players who will almost certainly go one and two at the top of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Although Henderson may have outplayed Wembanyama in the game with his future in the NBA not to be overlooked, Wembanyama is the more tantilizing prospect given the fact that he plays like one of the best guards in today’s game while also standing at 7’4”.

LeBron James was asked about the game that happened in the Sin City the night before, calling Wembanyama an “alien”.

After that, LeBron decided to wield his extraordinary power throughout the league to continue towards his dream of owning an NBA team in Las Vegas after an expansion one day. How did he go about this? Well, he straight up just called out Adam Silver.

It’s unsure of when an expansion in the league will happen; however, there’s been rumors of it for years now. If a team is placed in Las Vegas, LeBron is very adamant that he wants to be their owner. It’ll be interesting to see if this happens while LeBron is still in the league, as no player has owned a team while still playing in the NBA. Hell, I think Michael Jordan — current owner of the Charlotte Hornets — is the only player in NBA history to own a team after he retired.

It’ll be funny to hear Silver’s response, and it may be even funnier to see how many more times LeBron brings this up until he gets what he wants.

Tonight, the Lakers will play the Minnesota Timberwolves in a preseason game at 7 p.m. PT. Their next preseason game will be on Sunday against the Warriors.

Leave a Reply