Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma is still the team’s leading scorer at 17.2 points per game. Recently, however, he has had some serious struggles shooting the ball.
Kuzma has shot under 50 percent in five of the last six games, scoring in single-digits three times. For a team that already has struggles offensively, a slump from Kuzma is the last thing the Lakers need.
This is around the time many first-year players hit the dreaded ‘rookie wall’ as the NBA season passes the number of games that the average college season entails. But Kuzma doesn’t believe that’s his issue.
“I just think it’s in my head right now. I’m just thinking a little bit too much,” Kuzma said after the Lakers’ ninth straight loss Friday night.
“I just need to get back to playing hard. I’m not really playing that hard right now. I’m playing like garbage, so it’s something I need to address and fix.”
Kuzma is very critical of himself, which is a good thing in the long run for both himself and the team. He didn’t limit his harsh words to a personal level as he called out the rest of the Lakers as well.
“I don’t think we’re giving enough effort to win right now. As a team in general, we have slip-ups offensively and defensively, we just need to pay more attention to detail.”
The defensive side in particular has been an issue for the Lakers recently as the team has slipped significantly from its early season pace on that end. Offense is also an issue, and the Lakers plan on addressing it by potentially signing a shooter, but the team was able to remain competitive because of their work and effort on defense.
What makes Kuzma great is that he hasn’t lost his fire or desire to get better despite the ongoing struggles of himself and the team.
“I can’t wait to play Sunday,” he said.
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