The Los Angeles Lakers’ season of 2021-2022 was a disappointment, as was the entire city of Los Angeles. Originally, they were considered the favorites to win the Western Conference and advance to the NBA Finals. Instead, they were unable to even qualify for the postseason.
However, they were able to finish the season on a high note by defeating the Denver Nuggets 146-141 in overtime. As a result, Lakers rookie Austin Reaves achieved something that had not been done since the legendary Jerry West.
With LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis all sitting out Sunday’s game, the Lakers young players were given an opportunity to show off their abilities. And they did not fail to impress.
Malik Monk, who scored 41 points, was the team’s top scorer. However, it was Reaves who stole the show in the end with a triple-double of 31 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists to earn the most attention. It was not only his outstanding effort that gave Laker fans hope for the future, but it was also his inclusion in a group of elite players.
Austin Reaves became the first Lakers rookie since Jerry West to record a triple-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. When you consider all of the elite rookies that Los Angeles has featured between West and Reaves, the statistic becomes even more mind-boggling.
It appears that Reaves has a promising future ahead of him. At the conclusion of his rookie season, he had 7.3 points per game on more than 45 percent field goal shooting and 3.2 rebounds per contest in just over 23 minutes of playing time per game.
If he receives more consistent playing time next season, Reaves has the potential to be a star in the making. However, he and the young Lakers did a commendable job in ensuring that the difficult season ended on a positive note.
And with their 30-point triple-doubles in their rookie seasons, Reaves and West have officially earned a place alongside one another in the Lakers’ annals of history.