Grades for Austin Reaves, D’Angelo

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For a team that is now back to .500, the list of impressive wins the Lakers have had this year is a surprisingly long one. However, it’s going to be hard to top Thursday’s victory over the Celtics for the best of the year.

Down LeBron James and Anthony Davis, riding a two-game losing streak and matched up against arguably the best team in the NBA, the odds were stacked something fierce against the Lakers.

But a total team effort, spearheaded by Austin Reaves, powered the Lakers to a stunning win. Truly, it was one of the most surprising results in a season full of good and bad surprises this season.

So, let’s grade the win. As always, grades are based on expectations for each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.

Taurean Prince

38 minutes, 11 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 5-10 FG, 1-2 3PT, -9

Genuinely, I thought this was one of Prince’s better efforts in some time, especially considering it didn’t involve him knocking down multiple 3-pointers. He competed well offensively and was actually a good offensive weapon in a number of ways that wasn’t strictly spot-up shooting.

Grade: B+

Jarred Vanderbilt

16 minutes, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 3-7 FG, 2-3 3PT, 2-2 FT, +17

Man, what a gut punch Vando’s injury was. He was already on his way to a really great game and the +17 in 16 minutes really speaks volumes to how good he was. Watching him hobble off the court after yelling in obvious pain was a tough scene. The hope now is that it’s just a short-term injury.

Grade: A

Jaxson Hayes

34 minutes, 16 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 6-8 FG, 4-5 FT, +3

Holy cow what on Earth was that performance??? After one of the worst games he’s played as a Laker, he responds with objectively his best game as a Laker. I’m going to ignore some of his defensive struggles because he made up for it with a ton of energy and effort. You legitimately could not ask for more from him tonight on either end of the floor.

Grade: A+

Austin Reaves

35 minutes, 32 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 10-18 FG, 7-10 3PT, 5-7 FT, +16

I remember how wild some of you were talking a few weeks ago when Reaves was struggling while D’Angelo Russell was excelling. One game should not sway opinions on a player one way or another but it’s games like this that remind you why it felt like the Lakers got a steal in keeping him this summer.

He was red hot all game long and the catalyst. While it was a team effort, someone was going to have to step up offensively to feel the huge shoes left by LeBron and AD and Reaves answered the bell. A performance that will go down in his Lakers lore no doubt.

Grade: A+

D’Angelo Russell

39 minutes, 16 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists, 2 steals, 5-20 FG, 4-8 3PT, 2-4 FT, +4

An odd game for D’Lo in which it felt like he was always in complete control even if he had some eye-popping shooting numbers. While he was very efficient from range, he was 1-12 on two-point shots, some wild shooting splits. Many of those misses came after he got to the rim and rushed his attempt at the rim, a sign of good process at least.

At the same time, he finished with a double-double, set a season-high in assists and nearly messed around and got a triple-double. Overall, a positive night even with some horrid shooting numbers on the surface.

Grade: A-

Max Christie

23 minutes, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3-7 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT, +10

A pretty straightforward, solid outing from Christie. He knocked down a couple shots, did well getting to the rim attacking some closeouts. He turned the ball over once late and had a couple miscues defensively at times, but overall it was a very fine game.

My main takeaway is that the more I watch Christie play, the less desire I have to see Cam Reddish really at all even when he’s healthy.

Grade: B

Rui Hachimura

33 minutes, 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 5-14 FG, 3-6 3PT, 2-2 FT, +4

A night of some interesting swings for Rui. I liked his aggressiveness overall on the night as the Lakers needed it. At times, it resulted in some frustrating plays, but he stuck with it offensively and scored 10 important points in the fourth quarter.

As important, I thought he was really solid defensively, whether it was defending Jayson Tatum or battling underneath with the bigs.

Grade: A-

Christian Wood

19 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1-9 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT, +2

There’s nothing to accidentally/intentionally not quote tweet tonight for Wood. He got outplayed by Jaxson Hayes and really had a pretty bleh performance. His shot wasn’t falling and while he did some battling underneath, it wasn’t the best showing after all that drama against the Hawks.

Grade: D+

Darvin Ham

Whatever strings Darvin Ham pulled to get the Lakers ready for this one, pull them more often. He navigated not just injuries to LeBron and AD, but to Vando mid-game as well.

I thought he called timeouts at good times to stop Boston runs early and mixed and matched wit the best lineups possible on the night. He also has constantly preached his desire to play with pace and you can see why he wants that given how the Lakers looked while playing fast tonight.

Grade: A

Jalen Hood-Schifino, Skylar Mays, Dylan Windler, Maxwell Lewis

Nothing on these guys tonight, who only played in the very end of the game.

Thursday’s inactives: Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Colin Castleton, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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