The Los Angeles Lakers fought hard to steal a win on the road on Sunday.
Even without Ja Morant, the Memphis Grizzlies were tough as nails on both ends of the floor, pushing the Lakers to keep the pace up throughout the whole contest.
That was until Austin Reaves took over.
He took the ball away from LeBron James’ hands and controlled the pace of the game with poise and calmness, slowly taking the ball up the court and operating like a surgeon in the pick-and-roll.
Reaves got hot and single-handedly orchestrated a nine-point run to give his team a big lead, earning praise from fans and proving to have ice in his veins.
He made the most of the moment by letting everybody know that he was “him” after completely taking over in the fourth quarter.
So, when asked about that now-viral “I’m him” moment, Reaves couldn’t help to smirk and admit that he got caught up in the heat of the moment, as he had always dreamed of being a part of something like that.
Austin Reaves on his "I'm him" shout in the 4Q 🗣️
He dropped 23 points in the Lakers Game 1 win. pic.twitter.com/YyDlIObjsu
— NBA (@NBA) April 16, 2023
Reaves finished the game with 23 points, but it wasn’t just his scoring that helped his team get the win.
His energy on both ends of the floor was contagious, and the fact that LeBron could actually give up some ball-handling duties was huge down the stretch.
The Lakers were too LeBron-dependent at times, and he’s not getting any younger, so finding someone who can take some responsibility and pressure off his shoulders could be crucial to their success.NEXT: Grizzlies Star Issues A Challenge To Rui Hachimura