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Film Study: How Austin Reaves building upper-body strength will unlock his offense

Lakers rookie Austin Reaves needs to focus on upper-body strength development during his first NBA offseason.

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Austin Reaves’ rookie season blew most people’s expectations out of the water, and he’s now taking part in his first offseason as a professional.

The first few off-seasons are especially critical for players because nothing exposes deficits like playing in the NBA, and the summer is the key time to take stock of those issues, assess them, and work them out. Additionally, the first offseason sets the stage for creating a development plan over the next few years, whether it’s developing new skills or mentally or physically (no one said player development was easy!).

Reaves will certainly be working on a multitude of things in parallel as he prepares for next season, but one of his key emphases will likely be on building upper-body strength to negate some of the physical deficits that hindered his game on both ends of the floor.

In the following video, I went through multiple examples of that on the offensive end, and how Austin building that strength would unlock new advantages for him next season.

The NBA is a fine-margin game, and Austin’s strength development will be key in building up those margins and allowing him to further expand on the potential we all saw from him this past season, especially in the final few games (for example, notching his 1st career triple-double vs the Nuggets).

Personally, I can’t wait to see what he’s been up to in the lab, because by all accounts he’s humble enough to recognize his weaknesses and more than committed enough to address them. If it all comes together, he could be in for an even more impressive sophomore campaign.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.

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