Basketball News

Kyle Kuzma becomes more than just a great scorer

Kyle Kuzma was in the middle of one of his burning sparks, converting 3-pointers on all sides of the court and facing a superstar in the second half of a hard-fought game.
On this occasion, Kuzma was in full duel in the fourth period against Kyrie Irving and the rookie did not blink, scoring more points than any other Laker in the fourth period this season with 17 points, coming to recall the glorious time “Showtime” in Los Angeles with a beautiful pass behind the back and without looking at Larry Nance Jr, for him to make a dunk that unleashed the euphoria at the Staples Center.
Kuzma converted 6 of 7 shots and all triples he tried in the fourth quarter with 28 points to elevate the Lakers towards one of their best wins of the season, a 108-107 victory against the Boston Celtics.
“I felt that, every time I touched the ball, I tried to score and get in good rhythm, the baskets were produced,” said Kuzma, who had fun trying to beat Irving. “… We talked a little bit. It is a great competitor. I like to play against men like him. It’s a good job. ”

Do not look now; But the Lakers (18-29) have made some noise by winning seven of their last nine games, including wins against Boston and San Antonio. (In addition, the Lakers have won six straight games at home since LaVar Ball unleashed his comments on Luke Walton’s training method.)
Despite playing their best basketball of the season, the Lakers have enjoyed something they did not have for some time. Kuzma had not exploded in this way for a long period.
There had been a torrid run at the end of December when Kuzma was among the hottest in the NBA. He scored 25 against Golden State, had a head-to-head duel with James Harden, converting 38 and 7 of 10 triples in a win before scoring 31 points against Minnesota on Christmas Day.
And while it is true that Kuzma is optimal at the time of shooting, the Lakers wanted to see what other things the forward could do. They know that Kuzma knows how to accumulate points: it is an irrefutable truth since Kuzma, selected in the 27th position of the draft, burst onto the stage of the summer league.
The Lakers want him to play better in defense and also become a creator of opportunities for his teammates, when rival defenses focus on stopping him. In short, they want Kuzma to do similar things to Lonzo Ball.

As a way to demonstrate that he will be insistent with Kuzma about it, Walton had the rookie on the bench for most of the second half in the Lakers’ previous victory over the Knicks because of his defense, even though Kuzma scored 15 points in 10 minutes. Kuzma converted 6 of 8 shots, but did not record rebounds, assists, steals or blocks during his 10:27 on the court.
“During the previous 10, 12 games, I’ve done a good job of really facilitating,” says Kuzma. “Make my colleagues have opportunities. I do not intend to have nights in which I score 20 points without assists. Just trying to get my colleagues to make things easier has been useful. ”
For several weeks, Kuzma has tried to concentrate on what the coaches want to see in him and it has been easy to perceive that he was not looking for his shots as he usually does. It was the first match in which Kuzma added 20 points since December 31.
After an average of 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 15.9 baskets per game in December, Kuzma averages 12 points, 4.1 rebounds and 11.7 baskets in January before Tuesday’s game against Boston.

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