Los Angeles Lakers
Is Lakers' Austin Reaves turning into a star?
Los Angeles Lakers

Is Lakers' Austin Reaves turning into a star?

Published Apr. 17, 2023 5:31 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles Lakers stole Game 1 from the Memphis Grizzlies after Austin Reaves, along with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Rui Hachimura, each scored over 20 en route to the 128-112 win.

The basketball world can't stop talking about the postseason debut for Reaves, who was crucial in the Lakers' Sunday victory. The second-year shooting guard finished with 23 points, with 14 of those coming in the fourth quarter. He is just the third Laker in the past 25 seasons to finish 5-for-5 or better in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, joining all-time L.A. greats Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. 

What's more, his 14 fourth-quarter points are also the most he has scored in any single quarter in his career.

James, who finished with 21 points, had high praise for his teammate.

"I knew from the first practice … that he wasn’t going to be a two-way [contract] for long," James said after the game. "I’ve been around the game long enough to know great basketball IQ players ... and the [guys] that fit with me. 

"I knew Austin would be that."

On Monday's "Undisputed," Shannon Sharpe reacted to Reaves' impressive performance and broke down why he believes that the 24-year-old will continue to have big games for the Lakers, in this series and beyond.

"If you go back to the last six weeks of the season, he [has] been sensational, but you never know how a guy's gonna perform in his first playoff game," Sharpe said. "He's in the starting lineup. He's being counted on heavily. They let him handle the ball an awful lot. It told me a lot."

Lakers steal Game 1 vs. Grizzlies; Austin Reaves scores 20-plus points

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to the Lakers' postseason win.

Skip Bayless agreed, going as far to say that the former undrafted free agent is turning into a bona fide NBA star.

"We're seeing enough sample size now," Bayless said. "In the 29 games he [has] played since that trade deadline — LeBron missed a month so [Reaves] really got to rise and shine — he's shooting 57% from the floor, 45% from 3 and 85% from the free-throw line. … The first two numbers are off the charts. … I watched him at Oklahoma. He didn't show any of this.

"Have you ever seen a player improve more from college to NBA?"

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