The Los Angeles Lakers had one of their best offensive performances of the season on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. All five starters scored at least 20 points led by 30 from D’Angelo Russell and 27 from Austin Reaves in their 17-point victory.
Reaves was extremely efficient, hitting 10-of-15 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point range, but the story on this night was the total team effort, particularly from the starting lineup. Reaves feels it was simply a matter of the Lakers playing the right way.
“I think it was just a testament to playing the game the right way,” the guard said after the Lakers win. “We were making the extra pass, we were getting wide open looks, to be honest. When DLo sees a couple go in, I got about a 97% guess rate correct. When he’s about to shoot it, I can tell you every time. I love it, it’s a beautiful thing to see. You cheer for guys like that that are good people.
“I think it just comes down to us playing the right way. Like you said, Rui was huge tonight too. I feel like we just played with force and then we were really decisive on top of that.”
The Pelicans have been one of the better teams in the league recently, so for the Lakers to come out the way they did was impressive. They had 32 assists on the night and after tying a franchise-record with 51 points in the second quarter, they locked down defensively in the second half holding New Orleans to just 48 points.
But that 51-point quarter was truly an amazing feat and Reaves feels it is evidence of what this team is capable of. “Yeah, for sure. I think as you see tonight, when we get in a good rhythm, a good flow, we have so many options and we have so many ways to attack defenses because of the skillset that we have on the court,” Reaves added.
“We’re still somewhat new but we’re continuing to grow and build that chemistry on the court and feel more comfortable playing alongside one another. But I think that just shows what we can do as a team offensively. We can obviously clean some things up defensively, but yeah.”
One group that definitely seems comfortable with each other is this starting lineup, a group that played a lot of minutes together last season and especially in the playoffs. Reaves feels the group has some good chemistry and now is looking to build on that.
“I think we played this lineup quite a bit last year at the end of the year and into the playoffs,” Reaves noted. “So we have kind of a good feel of how to play with one another. Rui gives you somebody that can shoot the ball but if you put a small on him, he can go straight to the post and operate out of there.
“He made a couple really good passes tonight that was very inspiring. Obviously AD and Bron doing what they do, and DLo as well. We’re just looking to continue to grow that together and continue to get better.”
This starting lineup locking in will only make things better for the entire team as the rest of the Lakers can then lock into their roles and the team as a whole can grow together and finally start resembling the group they envisioned at the start of the year.
Lakers expected to sign Spencer Dinwiddie off buyout market
The Lakers will also be getting a boost from a new face as the team is expected to sign point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who was released after being traded by the Brooklyn Nets at the trade deadline.
Dinwiddie is averaging 12.6 points and 6.0 assists this season and will give the Lakers a much-needed steady hand off the bench, especially as Gabe Vincent continues to recover from injury.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!