It didn’t take long for Austin Reeves to rise from the perceived luxury to the absolute necessity of Lakers in the last year.
The unpolished guard caught the eye in the junior season not with outward flash or dynamism, but instead, with his ability to Fill in the boxes Among the team’s superstars and veterans with its wide range of services.
With his choppy defense, meticulous attacking skills and sheer hustle, Reeves emerged as the Lakers’ human duct tape. Whenever a problem came up in a roster, squad or match – which it often was – it was the 24-year-old who bumped into it hoping he could heal all the flaws around him.
It was a huge responsibility and a bigger role than Reeves likely expected in a team aspiring to the championship. But he was playing for her at every turn. But this was not without downsides.
The additional wear over the hurdles that comes naturally with NBA adaptation likely affected multiple aspects of the Reaves’ individual game throughout the year. The area with the greatest injury was the 3-point stroke.
On the surface, Reaves’ 31.5% shot from outside the arc last season certainly left a lot to be desired. And for good reason. However, it is also a number that requires more context, which when zoomed in, It suggests both potential and scope for improvement.
For example, removing litter time and heights, Reaves actually shot the triple ball with a 33% more palatable clip according to cleaning the glasses. While it still doesn’t hit the league average, it highlights how much Reaves’ initial percentage falters from simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
according to league tracking data, 8.2% of Reaves’ 3-point attempts came too late in the shot clock (four seconds or less) last season. This mark was the highest in the team.
This manifested itself because the novice often threw caution – and his numbers – into the wind with full-pitch bombs at the end of the quarters. He also fell victim to several “Grenades” From his teammates – Unfavorable passes forced Austin to raise prayer late in the hour.
The combination of lift and friendly fire turned Reaves into only 19.2% of these attempts, dropping an overall 3 percentage point in the process.
Outside of those sub-optimal shots, a large part of Reaves’ appearance in his first campaign actually consisted of quality chances.
As one of the team’s primary beneficiaries of playmaking by LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, he is ranked 95th in the league for shot quality (measures position, openness and type) according to The BBall indicator.
Unfortunately, Reaves also struggled to convert those looks at a healthy rate, only managing 34.8% of open chances (the defender is at least six feet away) in the year.
However, these errors were not always the norm. In fact, we can probably determine exactly when – and more importantly why – the Reaves crashed into the so-called “The Rising Wall.”
As the graph below shows, the largest drop in shooting strike terms occurred on the Reaves at the beginning of January through the end of March.
Also at this time, the Reaves minutes were normalized as a fixed part of the rotation. In conjunction with this, Reeves also began noticing a sharp rise in the ground he covered in the field monthly, with mileage rising in January and again in March.
The sudden bump in energy effort, as well as the sheer amount of basketball being played, is something the rookie himself admitted to having factored in the shot’s starting point.
“Maybe a little of everything,” Reeves He recently told Athletic. “I’ve never played more than 37 games – 40 games max. So I played 61 games this year, but 82 games season, and I was traveling when I wasn’t playing. So it’s definitely a thing.”
Those on the player performance side of basketball operations have tried to keep track of exactly when a player hits their breaking point some Assuming that comes when the novice outlasts the number of games they’ve previously played at the college level, or once they’ve reached the halfway point of an NBA season.
The Lakers’ 38th game of the season was played on Jan. 2, which roughly coincided with Reeves’s drop in shots as well as probation. He played most of his matches In any season of his career before professionalism.
Before the new year, Reaves had already dug 39% of his wide open attempts. However, during the three-month period leading up to April – during which his mileage was at an all-time high – Reaves managed to convert in 29.6% of his chance.
In rewatching all of Reaves’ 3 point attempts at 105 during that time (and that alone equal to its output With Oklahoma during his senior year), one direction immediately emerged when it came to the majority of his mistakes—they tended to be very short.
Although he never left him, the physical aspect of the game started to fall apart on Reaves. His bugs were barely swaying in front of the ledge, and his legs, which likely looked like cement blocks during this stretch, were proof of that. Not only was he playing more, but he was also trying harder.
by league 2nd frequency spectrum dataOf the Lakers who appeared in no less than 50 games last season, Reeves ran sixth miles, had the third-most shots fired, had the second-fastest average speed in defense, and topped the team in terms of average overall speed. And for a good measure, Reaves too Most of the charges were brought In the entire beginner class.
Trying to be everything, everywhere and at the same time, Reeves’ body is often found hits hard wood For loose balls and was bodied Punished by a stronger opposition every night. That last one was the focus this summer.
“It’s my great focus,” Jovan Poha’s reactions have been revealed. “I go in there every day with good behavior, and whatever they tell me to do, I do. Just putting my body in the best position so the wall doesn’t hit you or anything else. And you can push more through that because you’re in better shape and better conditioning.”
Reaves already has It said He put on an extra 12 pounds in hopes of improving his defensive versatility and withstanding the rigors of an 82-game season. This increase in strength is also something that Lakers owner and Assistant General Manager Jesse Boss believes will help him become. “The ocean shooter is more consistent.”
Time will tell if Reaves’ struggles with his shooting strokes indicate a future rumble, or the latest young player adjusting to his new surroundings.
Peripherals, such as a file Pick up and shoot the numbers In college as well as his wonderful touch around the edge And shooting from last season’s free-throw line indicates that Reaves has the tangible tools every good shooter needs.
Perhaps most importantly, Reeves also trusts himself – and his shot – to not let any mistakes or excuses stop him from letting it fly when needed.
“At the end of the day, I felt like there was no excuse to miss the shots,” Reeves said too Shared with Athletic. “I have to shoot, even if it’s late in the year, early in the year, whatever. I have confidence in myself, with all the work I’ve done, to make shots in those situations.”
There’s no doubt that Reaves hit the rookie wall hard this year. Although this was not due to any lack of ability, but more so because that is how he deals with basketball. So it is wired. Full steam ahead of you, body and mistakes damned.
Fortunately, all indications are that his bumps and bruises have since recovered, and he is preparing himself to find plenty of bottom netting next season.