Coming off of a win against a pesky Sacramento Kings team, the 4th place Los Angeles Lakers are running high. Of course, no one is probably running higher than the game’s high scorer, Kyle Kuzma (30 points on 11-18, 4-7 from three). The 30 points also marks Kuzma’s season high, earning him high praise from Lakers head coach Frank Vogel:
Frank Vogel on Kyle Kuzma: “The greatest thing about Kuz’s approach to the season has been his attitude. … He’s a winning player. I think we saw that in the championship run last year. … He’s really making the effort to play team-first basketball.”
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) April 3, 2021
Vogel, of course, made sure to highlight more than just Kuzma’s offensive output tonight, saying about the youngster’s defense that “Kuz plays hard. That’s the simplest way to put it.”
Kuzma had a wildly efficient night from the field, and left the game with a whopping plus/minus of +29, telling of an absolutely dominant 115-94 Lakers win over the Kings.
With LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the newly acquired Andre Drummond sitting out tonight, Kuzma’s performance brings this popular question back into vogue for the Lakers: Can this be the real Kyle Kuzma? Aside from being a solid, low-maintenance contributor on both ends of the court, Kuzma has shown enough flashes of brilliance to be deemed as both a complimentary piece to LeBron James, and as a centerpiece for the Lakers’ future.
If he can keep up this sort of production and efficiency, the Lakers will certainly be thankful for the cushion, as their roster doesn’t really measure up to the rest of the Western Conference without LeBron and AD’s star power and skill.
With any luck, this win marks a turning point in the youngster’s career, which should be scary for every opponent that the Lakers face going forward. If he’s doing that in a team setting like Vogel is asserting, then the picture gets even better for the Lakers going forward.
With this win, the Lakers now move to 31-18, and maintain their tenuous grip on the Western Conference’s 4th seed.