There has been a lot of talk surrounding the Lakers’ lack of a third go-to option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Last night, Kyle Kuzma did his best to put those opinions to rest.
In a thrilling 103-101 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers looked like a team trying to prove a point most of the night, but they were still a bit out of sync. Most of the role players had mediocre nights with a few exceptions, one of them being Kyle Kuzma.
Kuzma came ready to play, ending the game with 16 points, 2 assists, and 7 rebounds. One key takeaway is that all 4 of his made baskets came from beyond the 3-point line, including this beauty that came courtesy of an Alex Caruso screen.
Alex Caruso with a subtle screen on Paul George to free up Kyle Kuzma for the 3. Dude is just rock solid. Good screener and cutter, good defender. Smart player. pic.twitter.com/6wM6G6L43r
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) July 31, 2020
It wasn’t all about the offense for Kuzma, though. He has been slandered by fans all season long for his lackluster defense, which it seems he has taken exception to. Facing off against two All-Star caliber players, Kuzma held his own and showed that he’s been working on it.
Kyle Kuzma’s defense tonight pic.twitter.com/NdYHPkEfJv
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 31, 2020
Multiple teammates have come out in support of Kuzma, acknowledging that much of their playoff hopes will rely on him being a consistent third option when LeBron and AD are off of the floor. And while Thursday night wasn’t a playoff game, it gave hope that he will be up to the task when the time comes.