Austin Reaves just continues to impress with every opportunity he gets. The former Oklahoma star wasn't even drafted in 2021. He fought to make the Lakers roster after originally signing a two-way contract. He earned his position in the rotation, eventually grew into a starter, and is today somewhat easily the third-best player on the team.

But on Sunday, the emergence of the newest young Los Angeles Lakers star hit a new peak. With the Lakers in a closely contested fourth quarter in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies, Reaves exploded for 14 fourth-quarter points, including nine in a row to help clinch a 128-112 victory. In the process, he announced his presence to the rest of the league by shouting "I'm him!" as he clinched the victory. 

Reaves is a second-year pro who came almost out of nowhere just to reach the NBA. Now he plays on a team with possibly the greatest player in NBA history in LeBron James as well as another max-contract point guard in D'Angelo Russell. That such a star-studded team would turn to him as its closer says everything that needs to be said about Reaves. He isn't just a role player. He's going to be a fixture in the NBA for years to come. The best players in the NBA took notice. Damian Lillard gave him his flowers while watching at home.

Trae Young was just as effusive.

As Young noted, Reaves is going to get a new contract as a restricted free agent this summer. It was already going to be a big one based on his regular-season performance. But now? Teams are going to look at him as a long-term core piece, and pay him accordingly. Austin Reaves is indeed "him."