This is Why Kyle Kuzma HELPS LeBron James & Anthony Davis On The Lakers (Ft. NBA, Lonzo Ball)
Kyle Kuzma can help LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers, this is why. #NBA #Lakers #Kuzma
Second Channel- usworlds.info/tv/ZWAssCaz6YHMXGziCKtdPw
Kyle Kuzma is entering his third season in the NBA, but the Lakers have drastically changed, there’s no more Lonzo Ball rest in peace. With LeBron and AD along with new additions like Cousins, I wanted to see how Kuzma could fit in and ultimately how he actually helps the Lakers.
Kyle Kuzma is a 6’ 9” 220 pound power forward that last season averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds at the age of 23. Kuzma is not positionless and he’s not efficient. While he shot 45.6% from the field, Kyle Kuzma shot 31.9% on very open 3s which isn’t much to really celebrate and 30.3% overall on 3s, but what really matters is the perception and presence that shooting has. Even with him not shooting well, Kuzma still has pull on the defense. On top of that, Kuz moves off-ball a good amount. He makes cuts to the basket, he moves around the perimeter. This is great alongside LeBron and Anthony Davis because there doesn’t need to be fancy plays run through them while also taking pressure off them to score every time down the court. This leads me into my next point that Kuzma and LeBron already have great chemistry. The Kuz-Bron bromance. Kuzma was LeBron’s number 1 pass option and last season, Bron had the most assists to Kuz with 120, the next highest was Javale McGee at 88. That’s why LeBron’s built a trust with Kuzma as well, because Kuzma is a scorer. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, stars do what stars do and so you expect LeBron and Davis to do their share, but you can get wins from what everybody else did, what role players did and with an x-factor like Kuzma, that can be the punch the Lakers need whether it’s off the bench or closing games.
Kuzma is also working with lethal shooter to improve his jumpshot, you know the guy that helped Dwight Howard have his highest free throw percentage in 7 years at 60%. Look he’s not a great free throw shooter.
With LeBron playing the point, Anthony Davis playing his natural position of power forward and Boogie and Javale playing center, Kuzma really only fits in at one spot which is the small forward. While I think Kuzma might come off the bench and will definitely have playing time as the power forward, the Lakers really need a small forward. If Kuz wants to be that third star that finishes games, he needs to be able to play small forward that fits with LeBron and AD. But Kuz came into the league as 1 position player.
Kuzma showed tremendous growth defensively from year 1 to year 2. His best defensive play has to be this. I took a look at when he guarded Klay Thompson and well he got destroyed. Klay had 44 points in 27 minutes. If you look at the tape, it’s not as bad as you would think. Kuzma was there with Klay in terms of quickness. What he lacked was technique, for example, Kuzma struggles getting through picks, trying to run through them instead of rolling off them. Kuzma has worked on his feet, but has bad practices like gambling, jumping around instead of sliding his feet, crossing his feet instead of shuffling. This was also during the stretch without Lonzo who was a major factor for defense, the Lakers went from 7th in defense with him to 27th without, I made a video detailing his impact if you wanna understand, so team defense wasn’t gonna be great. That type of drive to be a better defender is not common yet Kuzma has it. He already has all the tools, the length, the weight, the quickness which you can’t teach and you can’t teach drive.
This allows Kuzma focus more on scoring more in transition as he did with both LeBron and Lonzo. Lonzo and Kuz had a great connection because of how Kuzma would leak out in transition which was more of Lonzo’s game. In fast break possessions per game, LeBron ranked 3rd and Kuzma ranked 15th in the league. There were also pick and rolls with Kuzma as the screener for Lonzo, and him as the ball handler with Lonzo as the screener. These are unique looks that can be replicated with Anthony Davis because of how AD can handle the ball and roll. With Kuzma and Davis being the young guys on this roster, these two can help push the pace on a team with mostly vets.
Keep in mind that Kuzma is also playing in team USA this year, and from what we’ve seen in the past, playing in a Team USA environment for the first time under a coach like Greg Poppovich has really help mature players’ game.
Kyle Kuzma is working on all the right things. To be that third star, he needs to adapt his position to make it more of a small forward/power forward role and not exclusively just a power forward. There’s room for a lot of growth, but what Kuz already has going for him is enough to help the Lakers now. But what do you think? How will Kuzma do this season? What about the Lakers?