The Los Angeles Lakers — with the addition of Andre Drummond — have 12 players that can see legitimate minutes on every given night. However, injuries have seriously affected every facet of this team, as they played their most recent game with only eight of those players.
It’s Kyle Kuzma who’s had to take over a majority of the offensive work along with Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain out indefinitely. Meanwhile, Drummond got hurt in his very first game with the Lakers and has now missed the last two. Wesley Matthews is also currently dealing with a minor neck issue and with everything going on surrounding the health of the Lakers, it’s hard to search for positives.
Kuzma sees defense as a huge plus for the team even with injuries, saying it’s something they’d like to capitalize on once healthy. “I think trying to find something positive from this stretch is from a defensive standpoint. I think we’ve done a solid job on the defensive end.
“Obviously not being the No. 1 defense, but we’ve held a few opponents to under 100 defensive rating. That’s something that is going to carry over and I think that’s the positive out of this.”
Kuzma also maintained a positive attitude when asked if the injuries were starting to take a mental toll on the roster. “No, I don’t think it feels mentally grinding. Obviously, every game you see someone out. It’s like damn. You always want your teammates to be there and as individuals for the guys that are hurt you want to be available for your teammates, so it’s not good. Definitely not good.
“At the same time, these are the cards that we’re dealt. We got to figure it out for us. We’ve got to figure it out for us. We’ve got to figure it out for our coaching staff to put us in the right position and we’ve got to go out there and execute and do our jobs as well. We can’t have pity on it. Can’t have a pity party.”
Defense undoubtedly has been a positive for the Lakers since James and Davis have been out. They have played eight consecutive games without their two superstars and have the third-best defense in the NBA during that span. For the season, they have retained a healthy advantage for the No. 1 ranked defense.
It’s offense that’s been the problem, as L.A. ranks 29th in their last eight games and have dropped to No. 20 overall on the season.
Kuzma is not the type to lose faith in his team, and he’ll continue to play his best and his hardest until everyone is healthy and back in their normal roles.
Frank Vogel gives update on Davis and James
For anyone hoping that the Lakers will get back to seeing their superstars in action soon, it may be a while before that actually happens. Vogel recently gave a quick update on James and Davis.
“Yeah, they’ll both be on the road with us. AD continues to ramp-up, but still a ways away,” Vogel said before the team’s contest with the Los Angeles Clippers. “LeBron is still out indefinitely.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!