Kyle Kuzma was one of the few gratifying stories of the Lakers inside the Disney bubble, and he simply gave them the biggest pass. Not only did he score 25 points in 11 of the 16 shots, but he also hit the winning three-pointer in just 0.4 seconds, remaining 124: 121 ahead of the Denver Nuggets. Although the Lakers had no advantage in winning the game itself, the victory was a huge moral victory for the team, which started in the bubble with 2-4 with the worst foul of any of the 22 invited teams.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets can keep their heads high after their backups with the Lakers are set up for a full quarter.
The starters were also good in their performance, as Michael Porters junior did not miss the shot, reaching 15 points. The Nuggets are still almost certain of the 3rd round of the Western Conference, while the Lakers have long reached No. 1. While it wasn’t a real preview of the playoffs, given the long minutes played in the Denver backup, it was convincing evidence. both sides. The Lakers and Nuggets got exactly what they needed from this game.
1. Kyle Kuzma makes the leap
It finally happens. After three seasons of teasing, commercial rumors and premature coronations, Kiel Kuzma finally becomes the player he needs. Kuzma had averaged 13.8 points out of 41.9, shooting from behind the bow at Disney, playing the best defense of his life, but Monday took it to another level. He toasted the Nuggets, scoring 25 points out of 11 of 16 shots, culminating in the game’s winner’s game.
The shot came with Bols bols stretching his arms 7-2 in the face. It does not matter.
“I thought Jesus might be in front of me and I’d probably shoot again,” Kuzma said after the match. This will not allow you to turn so well from behind the arch. That would be completely at odds with what he has done throughout his career. But to be effective in this form, you don’t have to be a 3 point 40% shooter. Kuzma finally plays in defense. He moves without a ball and has been unstoppable in the transition. He found immediate chemistry with Dion Waiters on the bench, giving the Lakers much-needed gains when LeBrons James sat down.Tehran should head to Los Angeles for Oakland
It would be premature to call Kuzma the third star of the Lakers.
A star is a person who can thrive in any environment. Instead, he’s the perfect third wheel – someone who has learned to integrate into the team, building and producing in every way possible to complement James and Anthony Davis. If that’s what Kuzma is going to play in the playoffs, the Lakers should be much more optimistic about their league’s hopes than they did two weeks ago.
2. Frank Vogel finally creates a rotation
The Lakers have used almost all of Orlando. Last week, they played 13 players against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Season players Jared Dudley and Quin Cook had a real chance to earn minutes. J.R. Smith was. Newcomer Talen Horton-Tuckers also experienced a real outbreak in these seed games. From the point of view, it made sense that the Lakers had already turned on their no. 1 and they didn’t have to send their best players to the ground, but it also made it difficult to develop the rhythm of these key pieces.
Monday answered many questions in this regard. Kuzma joined the starting line-up to replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and by the type of game he probably won’t leave him. Dion Waiters chose to replace Alex Carouso when he was injured at a critical moment, suggesting that Vogel chose him as his fourth defender. The last element of the dough is to remove JaVale McGee from the rotation. The Lakers have won all six bubble games he has played in his minutes. Otherwise? Most of Monday’s rotation is likely to be central to the first round of the series, with Caldwell-Pope replacing Horton-Tucker and Markef Morris in minutes.
3. Denver doesn’t have to worry about Porter Jr. applying their snacks
No, the Nuggets were not Gary Harris or Will Barton on Monday, but they should be encouraged by sharing Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray. There was no argument for the shots. Both teams joined together to shoot 12 against 16, both with a great pass from Nikola Jokic. Porters, a full-fledged hit maker, found his hits entirely in the offense stream. The fact that he can create more for himself will be invaluable in the playoffs, but this evening was another proof that he can live with the real Denver starts and will soon be out of the bench.