In addition to Anthony Davis’ dominant performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team also got a huge boost from their bench. Chief among them was Austin Reaves, who recorded a double-double of 15 points and 10 assists, many of which went to Davis for easy buckets.
Reaves, like Davis, has come under a bit of scrutiny for his start to the season, but nowhere near the level that the big man has seen. Any time Davis has an underwhelming offensive performance, he is put under the microscope with some even calling for him to get traded. But Reaves feels most people just don’t realize the impact Davis has.
Following the victory over the Cavaliers, Reaves called out those regularly criticizing Davis, saying that the average person can’t recognize how much he impacts the game for the Lakers on a nightly basis, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
Austin Reaves on Anthony Davis going from 10 pts in a L vs. DAL to 32 pts in a W vs. CLE: "Everybody's quick to murder AD when he has an off night. … He's affecting the game more than what the average human is picking up on"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 26, 2023
There are undoubtedly times where the criticism Davis faces is valid and warranted such as in the team’s last two losses in which he scored 10 and nine points, respectively. However, as Reaves noted, there are other times where even if he doesn’t have a great scoring night, his work on the glass and defensively make a massive difference and help the Lakers to victory.
At this point, it is safe to say that Davis likely won’t be a 30-point per game scorer throughout an entire season, but the focus too often goes towards what he isn’t doing as opposed to the great things he is and that is what Reaves wants to be recognized.
The Lakers are reliant on Davis being one of, if not the best player on the court, but scoring alone is not always a reflection of that. He positively affects the game in so many ways and Reaves wants his teammate to get his deserved credit for that.
Paul Reed calls out Lakers’ Anthony Davis for flopping ahead of game vs. Sixers
Davis has a huge matchup in the Lakers’ next contest as he faces off with reigning MVP Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. But prior to the contest, backup big man Paul Reed is already taking some shots.
Reed called out Davis for flopping and said that they can’t be too aggressive with the Lakers big as he will just start flailing around.
This is almost definitely something being done to get it in the officials minds before the game begins and hopefully turn things the 76ers way when it comes to fouls. But it should also serve to give Davis that extra bit of motivation when the ball goes up.
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