WATCH: Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma off to Hot Start as Anthony Davis Misses the Game Against Timberwolves

Published 12/28/2020, 12:10 AM EST
Dec 13, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) scores a basket in front of Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum (33) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Kuzma got a rare start for the Los Angeles Lakers in their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anthony Davis sat out the game due to an injury, and Kuzma took his place in the starting line-up. With a rare opportunity like this, Kuzma needed to prove his mettle. And he did just that.

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In the first quarter, Kuzma got off to a really hot start. He attempted and converted 4 three-pointers in the first quarter and made two impressive defensive blocks that kept the Minnesota Timberwolves offense at bay. In fact, Kuzma looked so impressive that it seemed like he could make every shot he took.

Kuzma’s heroics allowed the Los Angeles Lakers to establish a big lead during the game. While Kuzma’s shooting caught the eye of many, it were his defensive blocks that deserve more acclaim. In hindsight, his defensive blocks, especially the one against Edwards which was on a fastbreak, became critical for Lakers’ emphatic win.

Kyle Kuzma rises again

Prior to the arrival of Anthony Davis, Kuzma was touted as one of the best Lakers’ players. After LeBron joined in 2018, Kuzma and he built a bit of a partnership with James getting him good looks throughout. At this point, many thought that Kuzma was set to be a future Lakers’ superstar.

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However, the arrival of Anthony Davis complicated matters for Kuzma. With Davis bolstering the ranks of the Lakers, two of the best players in the NBA were playing in Kuzma’s position.

Unfortunately, this meant a drastic reduction in minutes for Kuzma and he spent a considerable time on the bench. As a result, Kuzma’s performances became more and more inconsistent.

The lack of minutes for Kuzma became a cyclical trap for him. Because of less playing time, Kuzma’s performances went down. And because of his performances being poor, he saw his minutes shrink or stay the same for the most part.

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Like a focused player who wants to prove his worth, Kuzma spit fire in his first big outing. Can Kuzma carry this momentum forward for the rest of the season? We shall see.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1174 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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