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Lakers News: Austin Reaves Feeling ‘Great’ & ‘Comfortable’ Heading Into 2023-24 Season
For the most part, the Los Angeles Lakers are going into the regular season pretty healthy. Aside from Jarred Vanderbilt’s heel injury that has kept him sidelined for most of the preseason, there has been nothing serious. But in addition to Vanderbilt, backup point guard Gabe Vincent also sat out of the team’s preseason finale against the Phoenix Suns.
Vincent has been dealing with some back soreness that is believed to be minor. He sat out the Lakers’ prior game against the Milwaukee Bucks, but most assumed he would be back on the court against the Suns considering this was viewed as something of a dress rehearsal.
But the Lakers chose to keep Vincent out in the preseason finale with head coach Darvin Ham insisting the team was simply erring on the side of caution in order for him to be ready for the regular season.
“He’ll be held out again tonight, just precautionary,” the Lakers coach said pregame. “Give him a few extra days so he can be ready to go come Tuesday night.”
Ham and the Lakers undoubtedly want Vincent healthy and on the court Opening Night when they head to Denver to face the NBA Champion Nuggets. After being swept by Denver in the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers are motivated to send a message by taking out the champs in the first game of the year.
The addition of Vincent was one of the biggest the Lakers made this offseason. A point guard who has proven he can deliver on the biggest stages, knock down timely 3-pointers, and defend at a high level, Vincent will be relied upon throughout this season and Ham wants to ensure he is at his best when the games count.
In three preseason games, Vincent averaged 10.3 points and 2.7 assists while shooting 42.1% from 3-point range. With the open looks he is sure to receive playing off LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Vincent could be one of the most important role players for the Lakers this season.
Vincent has certainly already acquitted himself well with his new teammates on the Lakers. Fellow point guard D’Angelo Russell praised him for his professionalism and believes he adds a lot to the team.
“Confidence. Professional. Killer. He’s just a professional, man,” Russell said of Vincent. “When you have a good group of professionals out there, it’s easy to play with guys like that. You see why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s coming from a great system and organization in Miami, so for us to have him here just adds to our group.”
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