One of the players that have performed well for the Los Angeles Lakers this season is Kyle Kuzma.
With all of the attention surrounding the signing of LeBron James this offseason, many forgot about the great season that Kyle Kuzma had last year for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers selected Kuzma near the end of the first round in the 2017 NBA Draft, and he quickly emerged as a steal for the team. If not for historically great seasons from Ben Simmons and Donovan Mitchell, Kuzma could have been the Rookie of the Year.
To start the season, Kuzma was playing out of position. The Lakers were really with only one viable big man in JaVale McGee and that forced Kuzma to play some minutes at the center position. The Lakers had the desire to play some positionless basketball, with Kuzma logging minutes at center.
Having Kuzma and James in the frontcourt didn’t work out well, as the Lakers suffered on defense and rebounding. However, the Lakers were able to add Tyson Chandler from the Suns, who has really helped the team.
“I think he’s really happy that he’s playing at home for the Lakers, and we’re definitely happy to have him. It takes a lot of pressure off Kyle Kuzma. It moves him back to his natural position of playing power forward.”
The addition of Chandler has been huge for the Lakers. Since signing him, the Lakers have improved immensely on defense. Having Chandler allows the Lakers to have a talented defensive big man on the floor at all times, which has paid dividends. Also, having Chandler has allowed Kuzma to play the power forward position, rather than center.
Kuzma is clearly a lot more comfortable at the four rather than center, as he just simply doesn’t have the size to be playing center for much other than a possible switch on defense. So far this season, Kuzma is proving that his rookie season was no fluke. He continues to perform well for the Lakers, and has shown that he is a great fit alongside LeBron James.
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