Kuzma is still the X-Factor for Lakers Championship hopes

Before the 2019-2020 season began, many believed Kyle Kuzma would be a third all-star along side superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Those of us who actually watch basketball saw the writing on the wall that Kuzma would be better suited coming off the bench in a sixth man role. We had also believed that Kyle Kuzma, who had a fantastic year last year, was primed for a run at the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award this year.

Kuzma had made such a big leap during the last season, we all had hoped that he would continue that progress into this season, knowing what was at stake. He has plenty of talent, why has he taken a step backwards?

In truth, Kuzma hasn’t taken a step back as much as it seems. We all feel as though he has taken a huge step backwards mostly because of his numbers, but his numbers are deflated because of his minutes. Kuzma is playing nearly nine less minutes per game than last season. If we look at his ‘per 36 minutes’ numbers, he’s only scoring 2 less points per game, which is completely understandable due to Anthony Davis joining the team.

The problem for Kuzma this season is his overall game. I haven’t seen any jump in his ball-handling ability. I haven’t seen him add to his overall offensive scoring moves or footwork either. As a matter of fact, his defense is still below league average. In an offseason where there were such high expectations, he has simply not lived up to them.

The season had been put on hold back in March due to the quarantine of most of the country. We haven’t known what would happen with this season, but it’s looking more and more likely that it will remain. If you can take a bad situation and create a positive, that is what we all again hope that Kyle Kuzma has done during this downtime.

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