Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma reveals where he takes the most pride in his defensive improvement
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers had themselves a weekend. The storied franchise had the tall task of facing the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers in consecutive games and were more than up to the challenge of going head-to-head with two of the NBA’s elite teams.
The Lakers beat arguably the best team in the league on Friday and followed it up with an impressive win over the Clippers on Sunday. LeBron James and Anthony Davis both had solid performances in both games, helping lead the purple and gold to their 48th and 49th wins of the 2019-20 campaign, but they didn’t do it alone with role players like Kyle Kuzma putting in the effort as well.
Kuzma has had his fair share of critics this season and justifiably so. He’s struggled to find his offensive game, but he has redirected his energy elsewhere like the defensive end of the floor. The Detroit native has made considerable progress on that end and talked about what he’s taking the most pride in regarding his defensive improvement.
“Guarding perimeter players,” Kuzma said. “When I have an opportunity to guard people my size, I’m more keyed in. Allowing myself to use my body, my agility, and other things instead of getting pounded in the chest.”
Although Kuzma will likely never be known as a lockdown defender, the third-year forward is doing an admirable job trying to help the team in any way that he possibly can. Hopefully, for his sake, the offense comes around, and he can become the threat he was in his first two seasons with the Lakers, but as of right now, this might be the best way for him to make an impact while he’s on the basketball floor.
In Sunday’s game against the Clippers, Kuzma finished with 10 rebounds, eight points, two blocks, and a steal. It’ll be interesting to see if Kuzma can continue to be a threat defensively as the Lakers inch closer to the playoffs.