Austin Reaves Analyzing Candidacy for the Lakers’ Sixth Man of the Year Award
The Los Angeles Lakers have had a tumultuous season, but amidst the ups and downs, one player has emerged as a potential candidate for the coveted Sixth Man of the Year award: Austin Reaves. The undrafted rookie has been turning heads with his impressive performances off the bench, earning recognition for his impact on the team’s success. In this article, we will analyze Austin Reaves’ candidacy for the Lakers’ Sixth Man of the Year award, taking into account his recent achievements and comparing them to other notable candidates, such as Russell Westbrook.
Reaves’ Rise to Prominence Since joining the Lakers’ roster, Reaves has been making waves with his playmaking ability, scoring prowess, and defensive tenacity. Despite going undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft, Reaves has quickly become a key contributor for the Lakers, providing a much-needed spark off the bench. His versatility and skill set have allowed him to make a significant impact on both ends of the court.
Final results for 6MOTY voting. pic.twitter.com/WGmEmKB9d2
— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) April 20, 2023
One of the main reasons why Reaves has become a viable Sixth Man of the Year candidate is his scoring ability. He has consistently been one of the Lakers’ top scorers off the bench, averaging 12.3 points per game in the 2022-2023 season, as of April 20th, 2023. Reaves has shown an ability to score in a variety of ways, including driving to the basket, shooting from beyond the arc, and mid-range jumpers. His offensive prowess has been crucial in providing a scoring boost for the Lakers’ second unit and helping to maintain the team’s competitiveness.
In addition to his scoring, Reaves has also been a facilitator for the Lakers, showcasing his playmaking skills. He has been effective in creating scoring opportunities for his teammates, dishing out 4.8 assists per game as of April 20th, 2023. Reaves’ ability to create plays for others has been vital in keeping the Lakers’ offense flowing smoothly, especially when the team’s stars, such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis, have been out due to injuries.
Furthermore, Reaves has been a tenacious defender for the Lakers. He has shown a willingness to defend multiple positions and has been effective in generating steals and disrupting opponents’ offensive sets. His defensive intensity and versatility have been crucial in providing a defensive spark off the bench and helping the Lakers’ second unit hold their own against opposing teams.
Comparison to Other Candidates When comparing Reaves’ candidacy for the Sixth Man of the Year award to other notable candidates, such as Russell Westbrook, several factors come into play. Westbrook, a former MVP and perennial All-Star, has had a solid season with the Lakers, averaging a triple-double with 21.9 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 11.3 assists per game as of April 20th, 2023. He has been a major contributor to the Lakers’ success and has been instrumental in keeping the team afloat during the absence of key players.
However, when it comes to the criteria for the Sixth Man of the Year award, Reaves has a strong case. The award is typically given to players who come off the bench and make a significant impact on their team’s success. Reaves has been a consistent scoring threat, an effective playmaker, and a tenacious defender, all while coming off the bench for the Lakers. His contributions have been instrumental in helping the team stay competitive and secure wins, especially during a challenging season marred by injuries.
Another factor that could work in Reaves’ favor is his rookie status. Historically, the Sixth Man of the Year award has often been awarded to rookies who have made a notable impact off the bench, such as Lou Williams and Ben Gordon. Reaves’ impressive performance as an undrafted rookie adds to his candidacy, as it showcases his ability to quickly adapt to the NBA level and make a significant contribution to the Lakers’ success.
Furthermore, Reaves’ role as a true sixth man, providing a spark off the bench and leading the second unit, sets him apart from Westbrook, who has been a starter for the majority of the season. Reaves has embraced his role and has excelled in providing a scoring punch, playmaking, and defense for the Lakers when coming off the bench, making a strong case for the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Conclusion In conclusion, Austin Reaves’ candidacy for the Lakers’ Sixth Man of the Year award is well-deserved based on his impressive performance off the bench. As an undrafted rookie, Reaves has been a key contributor to the Lakers’ success, showcasing his scoring ability, playmaking skills, and defensive tenacity. While Russell Westbrook has also had a notable season, Reaves’ impact as a true sixth man and his rookie status add to his case for the award. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see how Reaves’ candidacy evolves and if he ultimately takes home the coveted Sixth Man of the Year award for the Lakers.