Although the Los Angeles Lakers had their seven-game winning streak snapped by the Toronto Raptors, they can take solace in the fact that Kyle Kuzma is finding his rhythm.
It is no secret that Kuzma has struggled since making his 2019-20 NBA season debut in a win against the Dallas Mavericks. Following a rough couple of games, he finally started to look comfortable against Toronto by scoring 15 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the three-point line to go with five rebounds in 24 minutes.
More importantly, Kuzma has made efforts to try and be more aggressive on the defensive end as part of one of the stingiest groups in the league. It seems his improvement has not gone unnoticed by head coach Frank Vogel.
Vogel feels Kuzma is still trying to work his way into the scheme while getting back into game shape.
”He’s still finding his way,” Vogel said. “Offensively… within our system where his shots are going to come and playing the game the right way, being assertive but not too assertive. Defensively… within our coverages. He’s been pretty good defensively up to tonight. [He] had some good stretches tonight but he’s still in the process of getting his legs under him, getting his rhythm and timing on both ends of the floor.”
Although Vogel’s comments indicate that Kuzma still has some work to do, it is encouraging to see that he has made some tremendous strides since making his return.
With the Lakers still in the midst of developing their chemistry, he will have more than enough time to better find his footing on both ends of the floor.
Los Angeles put Kuzma on a minute restriction when he first came back but he is no longer on one. Of course, it may no longer be an issue of health as it is just a result of the game flow and which lineups Vogel decides to run with in certain situations.
Regardless, the onus will fall on Kuzma to show that he is an ideal fit for any lineup that Vogel may want on the floor.
He will first need to show that he is capable of improving his shot selection while not becoming a liability on defense.