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Reacts: Austin Reaves should be starting for Team USA

Despite Team USA’s success, Lakers fans believe that Austin Reaves should be in the starting lineup as they enter the latter stages of the FIBA World Cup.

2023 FIBA World Cup - USA Men’s National Team v Jordan Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Los Angeles Lakers fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

Since we last spoke about Austin Reaves and Team USA earlier this week, head coach Steve Kerr made a lineup change, taking out Brandon Ingram and inserting Josh Hart. It’s hard to get a good grasp on how much that impacted things as the team came up against a Jordan side that was, to be blunt, woeful.

Whether that was the right lever to pull will remain to be seen in the coming, more competitive games. For Lakers fans, though, it wasn’t the move that expected or felt the team should undergo.

This week’s SB Nation Reacts survey asked whether Reaves should be starting for Team USA.

This is likely a move that would only impact one or two games down the road for Team USA. However, Team USA’s entire FIBA World Cup is going to come down to one or two games and whether the team comes away victorious in them.

If Reaves makes the team better in those games, then he should be in the starting lineup. And there’s a pretty good argument for him to be. Lakers fans offered their two cents on the situation in the comments of the survey post.

Reaves’ malleability means he’ll find success in any lineup, and Team USA is going to continue to excel with its depth against other bench lineups.

Kerr has been willing enough to close with his bench when the situation calls for it, and if he continues to have that approach, it likely doesn’t matter if Reaves is starting or coming off the bench. He’s already separated himself as one of the top players on the team regardless of how things play out the rest of the way.

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