The Los Angeles Lakers have got off to a 6-8 start this season, showing spurts of brilliance on the court that head coach Luke Walton has tried to bottle up. While the team has been led by Brook Lopez and Brandon Ingram, rookies Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma have also answered the bell.
Kuzma in particular has surpassed all expectations. He has reached double-digit points in 12 of 14 games this season. Since being inserted into the starting lineup following the injury to Larry Nance Jr., the rookie has excelled even further, to the point that he may remain a starter when Nance returns.
Each and every coach has raved in their reviews of the 22-year-old, leaving a lasting impression during his first go-around against the rest of the league. In an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Kuzma credits his work ethic and approach for the stellar start to his career:
My hard work. My work ethic. My confidence. The way I approach this. I try not to act like a rookie. I try to be like a 10-year vet in how I approach things and my mentality toward this game. I want to be special. I feel like that is how I get there.
With a capable offensive arsenal, it is more about getting comfortable on the court as the season continues. At the same time, Kuzma stated he envisions improvements on the defensive end as his next step up the ladder to stardom.
This maturity is just another plus for the front office of the Lakers, validating their selection and belief in his abilities. Thrust into a starting role, Kuzma has had to oppose many tough opponents, including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Otto Porter Jr.
Kuzma is posting averages of 14.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game, shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from three-point range.
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