Kyle Kuzma thinks getting Lonzo Ball back will really help the Lakers’ defense
The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their second blowout defeat in a span of a week, losing 143-120 to the Philadelphia 76ers tonight.
The Lakers allowed the Sixers to score 30-plus points in all four quarters. Philly scored 76 points in the first half, and while Los Angeles was able to hang with them for the first 24 minutes, the game started to break wide open in the third quarter when the Sixers started hitting 3-pointers.
After the game, sophomore forward Kyle Kuzma was asked by Lakers beat reporter Harrison Faigen about what the team needs to do to improve on defense, and he mentioned that they need to get teammate Lonzo Ball back on the court as soon as possible.
“I think getting Zo back into the mix is definitely one thing. He’s had a hell of a season defensively and we kind of feed off of him. He’s picking up 94 feet, getting stops all over the floor and has great defensive instincts.”
Still, Kyle Kuzma believes that they need to play better team defense with or without Lonzo Ball if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“But regardless of having him or not, that’s not an excuse. It’s all about having effort and communication, and getting the new guys to get into it as well.”
The Lakers were ranked as the seventh best defensive team before Lonzo suffered an ankle injury late in January. He’s expected to miss at least one to three more weeks because of it.
The Purple and Gold are in all sorts of trouble right now, and if they don’t figure how to play better defense as a team, they could kiss their playoff dreams goodbye.