Kyle Kuzma Believes Suns Had Better Chemistry Than Lakers In First Round Matchup
Kyle Kuzma, Lakers
(Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers have been out of the postseason picture for a long time after the Phoenix Suns took care of them in the first round. Despite the Lakers having championship expectations, injuries and poor shooting by players like Dennis Schroder and Kyle Kuzma derailed any momentum they had, and they were ousted in six games.

The Suns are now in the NBA Finals, holding a 1-0 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks, with many claiming that their path to the Finals was made easier by injuries. First, they faced the Lakers, who suffered a slew of injuries, then faced the Denver Nuggets without Jamal Murray, then the L.A. Clippers without Kawhi Leonard.

Despite it being almost an easy way out to say that injuries are the sole reason the Lakers — and other teams — could not get past the Suns, Kuzma had a different theory that perhaps puts his feelings on the 2020-21 season into perspective, via Kuzma on Stadium:

“Well I think when we played them, the biggest thing that stood out was they had much more chemistry than us. They did a great job of just playing together, having fun out there, talking to each other, and really just communicating on a championship level. Obviously, knowing what it takes to win a championship, you need communication and you need that chemistry. I think that’s something that stuck out to me.”

Interestingly, Kuzma did not even mention injuries when discussing what went wrong with the Lakers season. Instead, he went directly to chemistry, something that defined their 2020 championship run. What he saw during that series made him believe that the Lakers were simply not the same team that won it all.

The Suns absolutely have great chemistry. Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton have formed a formidable trio supported by great role players like Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, and Cameron Payne.

Perhaps these comments could provide a sneak peek into the Lakers’ mindset about the 2020-21 team. Despite plenty of talk about running it back, a lack of chemistry could mean changes are on the way.

Anthony Davis and Schroder meet at Lakers practice facility

While it’s not surprising to see two Lakers players meeting up at the Lakers practice facility, it was somewhat interesting to see Schroder and Davis together in L.A. with the uncertainty surrounding Schroder’s future with the team. Perhaps it was nothing, or it’s a sign that the Lakers still want to make a long-term deal work with the veteran point guard.

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