Luke Walton Believes Kyle Kuzma’s ‘Competitive Energy’ Rubs Off On Lakers
Kyle Kuzma, Lakers
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers got back in the win column with their 107-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. While they are still dealing with injuries, Luke Walton’s team did welcome back Kyle Kuzma who had missed the previous two games with a lower back contusion.

Kuzma’s return was much-needed for the Lakers as he is undoubtedly the most offensively aggressive of the young core. That was on display in Dallas, though without much success as he shot just 4-of-20 from the field and finished with 13 points.

The poor shooting didn’t bother Walton however, as he believes just having Kuzma’s competitiveness out on the court rubs off on the rest of the Lakers, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“He was huge for us tonight. He hit some shots when we needed him too. He took a lot of shots, but just the way he’s attacking the rim and collapsing the defense, helps us get out and go. And he’s got such a good competitive energy about him, that I think it’s contagious as well.”

Walton certainly raises an interesting point. Kuzma never lacks for energy and aggression and is always in attack mode any time he is on the court. For as skilled as Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are, they don’t have that same mindset as Kuzma, and having that on the floor makes a difference.

Obviously, Ingram and Ball knew they really needed to step up as they spoke with one another before the Mavericks game about it. But having Kuzma on the floor, even if he isn’t hitting shots, changes things for everyone.

Ever since he was drafted, Kuzma has stood out not just for his skill on the court, but also his mindset. It’s a big reason as to why he’s the most popular of all the Lakers’ young stars and something Walton’s team misses when he’s off the floor.

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Luke Walton Addresses Stresses Of Coaching Following Tyronn Lue’s Leave Of Absence

On Monday morning the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that head coach Tyronn Lue would be taking a leave of absence…

Jerry West Says His Age-Comments Were Meant As A Joke & The Top NBA News

Top News Hall-of-Fame player Jerry West said his comments regarding the Lakers’…

Luol Deng Says Lakers’ Offer, Role Was Something He Couldn’t ‘Turn Down’ Last Summer

Last summer, the two biggest free-agent signing for the Los Angeles Lakers, other than retaining Jordan Clarkson, was inking veterans Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng to four-year deals…

LeBron James Says Goal For Lakers Is ‘Always Win A Championship’

When the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James this offseason, the trajectory of the franchise immediately changed…