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Kyle Kuzma intrigued by potential ‘death lineup’ for Lakers

Kyle Kuzma, Lakers

Playing small ball is a popular strategy in the NBA today and Kyle Kuzma believes the Los Angeles Lakers could find success using this type of lineup.

As the season progresses, Kyle Kuzma thinks the Lakers might start playing smaller.

“I honestly think that our small ball unit could be really good. I think that we have a ‘death lineup.’ Whether that’s [Rajon] Rondo and Lonzo [Ball] on the floor at the same time and me and BI [Brandon Ingram] and Bron [LeBron James] or substituting guys. I think as we get better defensively and get more continuity that small ball lineup is going to be huge for us, especially in the playoffs when everybody’s going to go small.”

Kuzma, however, admitted that the Purple and Gold are yet to practice such lineup. He emphasized, though, that they have been using it in desperate situations, which is also significant for the team.

“Rondo’s always on the second unit and he’s always leading that team. We never really get to it in games because those guys kind of flip flop. From a small ball standpoint, we go to it when we’re kind of desperate. I think that can be an advantage and we can go to it regularly.”

Moreover, when asked about the defensive issues the Lakers have seen from their small-ball lineups, Kuzma believes that the team’s overall improvement on defense will help the small lineup succeed.

“I think it will. I think that definitely starts with me. At the beginning of the year from now I’m probably a way different defender than I was. I think that was one of the biggest reasons holding us back from me guarding bigger guys or switching or whatnot. I think it’s going to be a big thing as the season progresses.”

He was also asked whether or not he would play the five spot or if LeBron James would be saddled with defending opposing centers. Kuzma’s response was met with laughs from reporters.

“I would hope he would be the five. He’s a little bit bigger with a little more muscle. Offensively, it doesn’t really matter. He’s gonna have the ball. We have a pretty good pick-and-pop chemistry. It’s all about defensively and how we guard those guys.”

This is a lineup the Lakers have talked about in the past, but they have been hesitant to go that small for very often. They could start implementing small-ball lineups as the season progresses.