The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their sixth game in seven tries on Sunday night, falling to the Toronto Raptors, 121-114.
With the playoff race tightening up in a major way and the team failing to turn things around even with the return of superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team seems to have hit a low point this season.
One of the few positives in the Raptors’ loss was the play of Kyle Kuzma. The fourth-year forward led the Lakers with 24 points while knocking down six 3-pointers in his second game since returning to a reserve role. But those statistics mean nothing when the team is playing the way it currently is and Kuzma believes the team simply isn’t coming together.
“I just don’t think we’re connected right now,” Kuzma said after the loss. “I just think we’re unhealthy and just not good enough. Losing six is very tough and we’ve all had winnable games during that stretch and it’s just a little disappointing. We’re just not together as a whole, team, staff, everything. So we just got to get back onto it, try to find out some way, somehow to get it clicking again and get that spark. I think that’s what it is.”
Where that spark may come from is anyone’s guess, but Frank Vogel will be looking towards all potential options in order to find it. It seems as if every time the Lakers get in some sort of rhythm as a team, another player goes out forcing them to adjust again. The eventual return of players then forces another adjustment period.
The question moving forward is now what can the Lakers do to get back on track, but Kuzma didn’t have the answer to that.
“I don’t know, it’s just very tough. It’s just an unfortunate situation. Obviously we got guys unhealthy, it’s tough man. It’s very tough, I’m not sure what to do. I wish we could get a little bit more time out there with Marc. That would be something that would be pretty good for us for sure. But it’s just tough, it’s tough and we got a lot of different situations, a lot of things going on around us.”
Kuzma has been a player Vogel has turned to to fill whatever role needed depending on who is available that game and he has done an admirable job of providing whatever the Lakers need in any role he has been placed in. The team badly needs someone to provide a spark and Kuzma may be the best option.
Kuzma compared rough stretch to seeding games
Even with all of the issues the Lakers have faced this season, many still view them as a real championship contender based off what they accomplished last year. And even though they struggled in the seeding games before rolling through the postseason, Kuzma does not believe this rough stretch is comparable to that.
“It’s just a little different this year, that’s all I could say. I think if you look back to this stretch right here and the bubble eight seeding games, it was just different. Obviously we’re not as healthy as we were during that stretch but I think for the most part last year, even during those games, we all were kind of together. And that’s just not what it is right now.”
There is no doubt that making it back to that level will not be easy, but the hope is that if James and Davis are on the court, anything is possible.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!