Kyle Kuzma Says Lakers ‘Are Playing A Little Bit Too Fast’
Kyle Kuzma Says Lakers ‘are Playing A Little Bit Too Fast’
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For most of the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers front office didn’t promise victory totals or playoff berths. What they did promise, however, was fun, growth, hustle, effort and pace.

The Lakers have certainly offered plenty of the latter to start the NBA season, leading the entire league in pace with 108.6 possessions per game in their first five contests, according to NBA.com.

The team has been effective in transition at times, but they’ve also had trouble holding onto the rock at that speed, which has led to the Lakers ranking second-to-last in the league in turnover percentage, coughing up the ball more (17.8 percent of the time) than every team but the Utah Jazz.

The extra possessions the Lakers are getting don’t mean much if they give the ball right back and allow easy baskets, something Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma pointed out after the team’s loss to the Toronto Raptors when he told Rodrigo Azurmendi of Lakers.com that the team was “playing a little bit too fast.” (via Azurmendi’s Twitter account):

Part of the appeal of drafting a player like Lonzo Ball is the ability to push the pace. Ball’s constant outlet passing and attempts to get the Lakers into early offense have undoubtedly helped the team more than they’ve hurt it, saving them from having to initiate their so-far much less efficient halfcourt offense.

But Ball’s passing and pace are contagious in more ways than one. While it’s good for the Lakers that he gets the ball moving and flowing around the floor with speed, sometimes his derring-do will be attempted by his teammates to less-satisfactory results.

L.A. probably needs to play with pace to be as efficient as possible, but the team also needs to heed Kuzma’s warning about playing too fast. Like Goldilocks’ porridge, their pace apparently needs to be juuust right.

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