LeBron James admits Kyle Kuzma is the key to Lakers’ championship hopes
Kuz gifted the Lakers a razor-close 124-121 win against the Denver Nuggets on Monday after cashing in a game-winning 3-pointer with .4 remaining in regulation. The 6-foot-8 forward finished with his best game in the bubble so far, recording 25 points (11-of-16 FG, 3-of-5 from deep), along with six boards, three assists, and two steals.
Shortly after the game, The King shed light on Kuzma’s importance to the Lakers championship hopes this season.
LeBron on Kuz: "In order for us to win a championship he has to be our third best player.” He added that if LeBron or AD doesn’t have it going, Kuz has to be the second best player.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 11, 2020
LeBron James also acknowledged Kyle Kuzma’s much-improved play following the long hiatus. Per Lakers reporter Mike Trudell, James praised Kuzma for his confidence and commitment to defense.
Kuzma struggled at the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign following the foot injury he sustained with Team USA over the summer.
The Flint, Michigan-native has been considered the odd man out for the Lakers ever since James came aboard in 2018. Kuzma even figured in multiple trade rumors before the deadline last February.
Now that he’s healthy and fully understands his role under head coach Frank Vogel, Kuzma will definitely be a crucial piece for the Lakers in the postseason.
As good as James and Anthony Davis have been all year, opposing defenses will be keying in on the two superstars if there are no other threats. This is where Kuzma’s high-scoring exploits will come in handy. The 25-year-old has already proven that he can put together buckets in bunches if given the right looks.
Entering Monday’s game, Kuzma has only been knocking down 42.9 percent of his field goals and 31.1 percent of his 3-point attempts. Nevertheless, Kyle Kuzma figures to play a vital role for the Lakers to have a chance of raising that Larry O’Brien trophy come playoff time.