The Los Angeles Lakers continue to fight for their playoff lives.
They currently sit tied for ninth in the Western Conference with a record of 36-37.
Once LeBron James went out with his foot injury, it seemed like the Lakers’ hopes of making the playoffs were gone.
Instead, they have had a few players step up and thrive in larger roles.
One of those players that has been great is guard Austin Reaves.
He has scored 24+ points in three of the last four games, including a dominant 35-point outing against the Orlando Magic.
His recent surge has kept the Lakers alive and has given hope to the fans.
On Wednesday night, Reaves was treated to “MVP” chants while he was at the free-throw line.
Austin Reaves gets "MVP" chants from Lakers crowd
He finished with 25 PTS and a career-high 11 AST 👏 pic.twitter.com/x5NvtRCl2i
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 23, 2023
While him winning league MVP will not happen, he has been the team MVP over the past week.
Since the beginning of March, Reaves is averaging 18.5 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.2 rebounds.
He has made a crucial impact on the floor, and the Lakers should continue to ride the hot hand.
It will be interesting to see how Reaves’ role changes once James returns to the floor.
He will no longer be needed as a primary ball-handler and his shot attempts will decrease.
Yet, he will still be relied on to play a key role on their team.
The Lakers have seen a few players emerge in the absence of James.
That could pay dividends for them if they can get into the playoffs.NEXT: The Lakers Have Reportedly Made A Decision About Kyrie Irving