VIDEO: Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma swats James Harden’s layup attempt
It’s no doubt that Kyle Kuzma has been one of the brightest stars for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA season restart so far. The Lakers forward opened up tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets with a massive defensive play against James Harden.
Harden is one of the slickest attackers in the league right now and every time you come up with a huge and successful defensive stop against the 2018 NBA MVP (without sending him to the line), then you’re definitely making headlines.
Take a look at Kyle Kuzma’s graceful denial over Harden:
— NBA (@NBA) August 7, 2020
It was a solid defensive play in the opening quarter of tonight’s match-up. Kuzma was matched up with Harden at the top of the key where he was disciplined enough to keep his hands to himself and defend Harden with his feet. And, once Harden drove past him, he made sure to use his length and reach out to swat Harden’s layup from behind.
In LA’s first four games in the bubble, Kuzma has been a key piece of the Lakers’ second team. The 25-year old has come off the bench in Orlando to average 12.8 points per game to tag along with 3.8 rebounds in 27 minutes of play. Though Kuzma hasn’t been filling up the stat sheet as much as his previous seasons, he’s slowly settling in in his new role as the Lakers’ sixth man.
With LeBron James sitting out tonight’s game due to a sore right groin, Kuzma was pushed to the starting line-up where he seems to be thriving both offensively and defensively. With huge defensive plays like this, surely, Kuzma will be giving head coach Frank Vogel a few more reasons to start him more often. So far this season, Kuzma has only started seven out of the 58 games he’s played for the Purple and Gold.