Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma showed some signs of life on Friday, as he helped his squad to another easy win. L.A. cruised to victory against the Portland Trail Blazers, 136-113, and Kuzma was one of the team’s primary contributors on the evening with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, three 3-pointers, six rebounds, one assist.
This has not exactly been the case for the 24-year-old, as Kuzma has seen a significant dip in his production from last season. When asked about his reduced role on the squad this year, the 6-foot-8 power forward could not care any less.
* @kylekuzma was asked about figuring out his role and how he’s getting his shots, etc.: “We’re a 20-3 team and that’s all it’s really about right now.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 7, 2019
Kuzma has fallen down to earth since his breakout sophomore campaign last year. This season, he is averaging just 11.3 points (on 43.3 percent shooting) and 3.5 rebounds, while also connecting on 1.6 3-pointers per ballgame. This is a far cry from his outstanding sophomore run, and it goes without saying that Kuzma has taken one of the biggest hits since the arrival of Anthony Davis in the summer.
Nevertheless, Kuzma appears to a be a true professional, and seems to have embraced his new role with the team. We have not heard any complaints from his end, nor has he insinuated in any occasion that he is unhappy with his current situation. In his mind, the most important thing is winning — something that the Lakers have been doing pretty often thus far.
For what it’s worth, Kuzma’s current rookie scale deal runs until the end of the 2020-21 season, so it should be an interesting summer for the prized youngster this coming offseaon.