We have heard this Los Angeles Lakers story before, haven’t we?
A young talented player comes along and looks as if he can be the next big thing for the team. They possess talent on many levels and seem to be doing things that other people his age are not capable of.
This player is young and playing for one of the greatest franchises in all of sports where the eyes of not only the sports world, but the entertainment world are looking at you. He shines at times but then there are those other moments when he does not.
The player I am talking about of course is Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma. A multi-talented player with a lot of upside and many eyes gazing upon him, night after night.
But who is the real Kyle Kuzma for the Los Angeles Lakers?
Kuzma has been in the league for four years now. We saw him have an amazing rookie season in 2017-18 in which he averaged 16.1 points per game, was tied for leading the Lakers in scoring that season with Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram, and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team.
The word was out on the rookie as his name made its way around the NBA. People were talking about how talented he is and how much he has done in only his rookie season.
The next season, his scoring increased to 18.7 points per game as he was second overall in scoring to only Lebron James. It seemed as if Kuzma was right on the brink of breaking out to be an all-out legit threat.
Someone that other teams had to be aware of when they faced the Lakers. It seemed as if Kuzma was maturing at an amazing rate. This of course is rather rare in sports but it does happen at times. We have seen it from so many have we not?
That same season of 2018-19, the world watched as the Lakers failed to make the playoffs once again. Things were not looking good at all. Changes had to be made and quickly. Lebron was here but there still needed to be some tweaks to the team.
Last season, Kuzma, was reduced to a sixth-man role. A very integral part of any NBA team. His minutes per game average fell drastically. He only started 9 out of 61 games as opposed to the season before when he started 68 of 70 games. Kuzma averaged 12.8 points per game the entire season which was lower than the previous two years and his field goal percentage dropped.
In the playoffs last year, Kuzma averaged just 10.0 points per game on 43% shooting. He was fourth in scoring behind LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He did have a very good outing in game#3 of the championship series against the Miami Heat where he scored 19 points.
So far this season, his numbers have continued to plummet. His minutes per game is down from last season as his scoring. He is also still shooting 43%. From what I have seen this season, he kind of looks a bit lost in the offense. It’s as if he comes into the game and either tries to do his own thing, where he will take shots that seem a bit erratic and he is a step slow on defense.
We Laker fans know he has the talent. There have been times when he seems to be unstoppable. I’m waiting for him to just bust out. Let’s face it, the team needs him more than ever this season, especially as they go on their journey to repeat.
Kuzma needs to contribute more than he ever has in my opinion. This current team needs some type of extra spark in order for them to accomplish their goal. The question is, can Kuzma deliver? I really hope so. We shall see.