Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma shines against Celtics in Summer League

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08: Kyle Kuzma
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08: Kyle Kuzma /

Despite another loss, the Los Angeles Lakers put on a show against the Boston Celtics thanks in part to Kyle Kuzma, the 27th overall pick in the draft.

Kyle Kuzma dropped a game-high 31 points, with nine rebounds and two assists on 46.2% shooting for the Los Lakers in their second Summer League game.  He shot 12-of-26 overall and got hot from behind the arc going five-for-10 from three.

Kuzma didn’t just excel on offense but he also stepped up on defense guarding both Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown at times.  Kuzma’s ability to score from deep and defend the opposition’s better players gives him a good chance of notching a consistent playing time for the Lakers. L.A. lacks shooters and will likely focus on defense because of their limited offensive weapons. Kuzma just proved he can give them good minutes that helps them in both of those areas.

Not only did Kuzma shoot it well from deep he finished strong around the rim and was able to score with his back to the basket in the mid-range game.

Kuzma’s performance against Boston Saturday night may be attributed to the Lakers shutting down Brandon Ingram for the rest of Summer League due to leg cramps. With L.A. not just down a player but without their leader, everyone had to step up their game. In Friday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Kuzma scored just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting and was 0-for-3 from beyond the arc.

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Whether Kuzma played harder in Ingram’s absence or just felt more comfortable with game one jitters out of the way, his potential is evident and the Lakers can add him to the list of young promising players they have in their arsenal.