LeBron James shocked the basketball world on Sunday after he made his return to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers following an extended injury spell. It didn't exactly work wonders for LA, though, as they still suffered a tough 118-108 loss at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.
If you ask former NBA player turned analyst Antonio Davis, though, he believes that LeBron's comeback might not bode well for Austin Reaves, who for his part, has been on quite a tear for the Lakers of late. According to Davis, Reaves will inevitably see his hot streak come to an end with James now back in the picture:
“The concern that you have with LeBron James coming back is he’s LeBron James, right?” Daniels said, via SiriusXM NBA Radio. “He casts a big shadow. He casts a huge shadow. So, with LeBron James coming back, what that does is that takes some of the ball-handling responsibility off of Austin Reaves, who’s been flourishing handling that basketball.”
The #Lakers fell to the #Bulls in LeBron's return yesterday
🏀 @adaniels33 isn’t surprised the team needs time to adjust #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/lrxdHh4PBy
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) March 27, 2023
Austin Reaves still got the nod to start on Sunday, and he did still play 37 minutes in the loss. However, he was limited to 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, with LeBron James playing 30 minutes off the Lakers bench. LeBron will be back in the starting lineup sooner rather than later, and this could mean a move back to the bench for Reaves.
Then again, Lakers fans will need to put their trust in coach Darvin Ham. The first-year shot-caller has already recognized how integral Reaves is for his squad, and Ham should be able to figure out how to best utilize the young guard alongside LeBron James.