Kyle Kuzma and the Los Angeles Lakers (5-5) both have gotten off to mildly surprising starts to the season. Most experts expected the team to be worse than .500 to start the year, and almost no one predicted Kuzma to play a major role right off the bat, and especially not to be second on the team in scoring with 15.4 points per game.
With that type of outperformance of expectations already, it’s no surprise Kuzma feels like the team could be even better than it already is.
“Five and five, we should have a better record than that. I think we as a team, of course we like to win, but I think our record should be a lot better than it is. We lost a lot of close games,” Kuzma said after the Lakers’ 107-102 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Professional athletes are typically a confident bunch, and most usually feel like they or their team is better than it is. That confidence is especially justified in Kuzma’s case, as he went from a player that most overlooked in college to looking like a top-ten pick. He has every reason to believe he can always be better than he’s previously shown.
That said, by the numbers, the Lakers are actually exactly where they should be as far as win-loss records go. According to ESPN’s expected winning percentage formula, the Lakers’ expected win-loss record is exactly the same as their actual record: 5-5.
Now that’s not to say the Lakers’ record couldn’t be better. Some teams outperform their expected win-loss record, and some teams underperform it. Kuzma is correct in that the Lakers have been close in nearly every game, and theoretically they could’ve pulled some of those out and their record would be better.
Still, after the worst few years in franchise history, the team and their fans should probably just be happy for competitive basketball, and the 5-5 record it’s produced.
WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB