Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma will have his chance to shine

NBA Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NBA Los Angeles Lakers Kyle Kuzma (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Despite the criticism that has followed him this season, Kyle Kuzma will soon get his time to shine in the playoffs for the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are having a tremendous season, to say the least. With roughly 20 games remaining in the regular season, the Lakers sit atop the Western Conference with a 47-12 record. While it can be argued whether or not they’re currently playing their best basketball, there’s no question that this season has been a team effort.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been the unquestioned leaders for the Lakers this season, but Kyle Kuzma has been a key cog as well.

Despite the trade rumors that Kuzma found his name subject as he’s actually been quite good under the circumstances.

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Many have been quick to criticize Kuma this season. While most of it is due to him not meeting the expectations of the media, in stating that he would be the “third star” for the Lakers this season, many fans have also been quite critical of the third-year forward.

Despite that, Kuzma has been just fine for the Lakers this season. He’s had some really bright moments for Los Angeles too, including a 36-point explosion against the Oklahoma City Thunder in January. With no LeBron or AD in the lineup, Kuzma took command in leading the Lakers to victory on the road.

Perhaps it’s performances like those that make fans and the media expect more from Kuzma, but the fact of the matter is that Kuzma is playing nearly 10 fewer minutes compared to last season. That alone will make his counting stats a little less impressive. Plus, throw in the fact that Anthony Davis is also cutting into his potential production.

Best-case scenario, Kuzma is generally the third-best scoring threat on most nights. However, his time to shine will certainly come. And if the Lakers are going to win an NBA Championship this season, Kuzma will have to play a big role in the playoffs.

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Especially in a likely playoff series against the Clippers, Kuzma will have to be a difference-maker in order to keep the defense at bay and off double-teaming either LeBron or AD. If Kuzma can prove that he can be a vital source for the offense, it will certainly change the way the Lakers are defended in the playoffs.