“We Got to Focus On the Season”: Austin Reaves Urges the Lakers to Focus On Raising a Different Banner After In-Season Victory

Published 12/19/2023, 9:10 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Are the Los Angeles Lakers getting a little too lax in the wake of the In-Season championship? Austin Reaves seems to think so. The Lakers are on a two-game losing streak after their head-to-head with the Pacers. Anthony Davis has shown a marked improvement since the IST trophy, having a historic night every other day.

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The latest in the Purple and Gold’s dismal failure was last night’s Knicks matchup. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle-led NY team took care of a slow-moving LA squad. Speaking about the inconsistent performances, Reaves has a few words of advice for his teammates.

Austin Reaves gets down to business after the banner-raising ceremony

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While the inaugural In-Season victory will forever have a special place in the minds of this Lakers team, it’s equally important that they shift their attention to keeping a consistent record toward their ultimate goal. One that Reaves reiterates, “It was cool to be a part of winning that [in-season]… But now that’s over and we got to focus on the season and hopefully raise another one up at the end of the year.”

With the way things were going for the Purple and Gold from the start of the season, it was quite doubtful whether they’d advance to the IST Finals. But the Lakers got hot near the end and the result was the first In-Season Tournament trophy and cash prize.

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But that’s the past. As the 25-year-old guard emphasizes, it’s high time that they focus on getting the next championship banner up.

The hectic schedule is a major reason for the Lakers’ subpar performance

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After Indiana, LA had to face the Dallas Mavericks, which didn’t go well. Then it was the Spurs. While everyone was looking forward to the James-Wembanyama face-off, had to be disappointed as LeBron sat the game out. Though the Lakers won, the very next game saw San Antonio with the upper hand.

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And then there is tonight’s matchup. Darvin Ham, when asked about the whole scenario, said, “It’s a long-term process.” Road trips are always a “marathon”. There is only so much one can control. Not even LeBron James can be free of health issues or seasonal illnesses. All they can do is regroup, recenter, and get into the right headspace.

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They are up against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. Hopefully, it can give them enough time to recuperate.

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Written by:

Geisha Pulimoottil Don

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“Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball” - Jackson had a simple philosophy when he was coaching the Lakers. He wanted everyone to succeed and grow in the service of something bigger than themselves. This is what struck me the most.
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Edited by:

Ruth John

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