Kyle Kuzma gives honest take on if he should start for Lakers in playoffs
Kyle Kuzma was asked by reporters on Wednesday if he could help the Los Angeles Lakers more by being inserted into the starting lineup.
In typical Kuzma fashion, the talented swingman confidently said yes, but he also emphasized that Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in charge of lineups and that his job is to do what is asked of him — be it to start or come off the bench.
“I mean, me being confident, saying yes. But I’m not the coach. I’m just a player. I kind of just do whatever they ask me to do, that’s my job,” Kuzma said, per Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated.
In the Lakers’ Game 1 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Kyle Kuzma finished with 14 points in 30 minutes. However, he shot only 35.7 percent from the field and 20.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Kuzma wasn’t the only player on the Purple and Gold who shot terribly against the Blazers. The team shot 35.1 percent overall and 15.6 percent from 3.
Some LA fans want Kuzma to replace Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the starting lineup. KCP had only one point in Game 1 and he didn’t hit a field goal in nine tries.
Since LeBron James and Jared Dudley have consistently said Kuzma is the X-factor for the Lakers, it may be beneficial for Los Angeles to put him in the starting five and bench Caldwell-Pope for Game 2.
Even though the Lakers looked bad in Game 1, it’s still a seven-game series and James has never lost in the first round of the playoffs during his iconic career. With that said, Los Angeles is still the betting favorite to win this series.