Kiel Kuzma played perhaps the best game of his NBA career on Monday. After his Los Angeles Lakers burst after a Disney bubble start with a 2-4, he helped straighten the ship with an outstanding shooting performance of 11 to 16, giving him 25 points. He also gave the Lakers six rebounds and three assists, continuing his star defense game in Orlando with two huge thefts. The greatest comedy was without a doubt the last.
As a result, Lakers manager Frank Vogel scored 121st, who shot the last shot not in favor of All-Stars LeBron James or Anthony Davis, but in Kuzma. Learning that the Nuggets expected the final blow to come to James, Kuzma put on a decoy screen and pushed it before paddling behind the arc for a 3-point attempt. Even with a stretched hand in Bol Bol’s 7-2 face, Kuzma calmly sank the winner.
As if the night hadn’t gotten better, Kuzma concluded with a well-rounded quote when asked if Bol’s defense affected his litter.
“I think Jesus could be in front of me and I would probably shoot again,” Kuzma said. “I think I don’t care. I had an open gaze. It’s a game we practically played a couple of times before the restart, and the coach trusted me and called my number and paid.”
Kuzma now scores an average of 16 points in a bubble with 44.
4% off the field, but his contribution has exceeded the score. With Ary Bradley out and most of the Lakers struggling to adjust to bubble life, Kuzma has remained the same to them as James and Davis have been all season. Detroit tiger comments: Michael Fulmer,
Whether it meant a hot-blooded throw, huge defenses, improved movement outside the ball, or his role in greatly improving the overall attack on the stand, Kuzma did everything the Lakers asked him to do, and even more so in Orlando. He may not be the third star at the James or Davis level, but he has easily become the third best Laker, and more importantly, he plays as the third best player over the rival.
Kuzma doesn’t force anything, he fills in the gaps and plays as part of the team.
This is a marked improvement for Kuzma, whose value to the team before the break lived and died from his ability to score alone. He looks like a brand new Orlando player, and if he continues to do so, the Lakers will have a very hard time beating the playoffs.