Wizards Coach Explains How Lakers Are to Blame for Kyle Kuzma’s Underappreciated Playmaking Skills

Published 10/12/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Sep 27, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) poses for a portrait during Washington Wizards Media Day at the Washington Entertainment and Sports Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Like most discussions, the one around Kyle Kuzma and his potential also has two sides. On one hand, there are some who believe that Kuzma has a lot of work to do on his game and his inability to grow is the biggest reason for his downfall with the Los Angeles Lakers. Others partially agree with the first point but also believe that he didn’t get much room to prove himself in such a star-studded roster. And Wizards’ coach Wes Unseld Jr. belongs to the latter group.

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Kuzma’s new coach has backed his talent and believes that he can flourish with more playmaking responsibility.

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Kyle Kuzma had talent that never saw the light of day?

Since Kuzma was traded to the Washington Wizards this offseason, there has been plenty of speculation about how he is going to fit in. Unfortunately, so far, the preseason hasn’t reflected well on him. He has had high turnovers already and is not displaying a good basketball IQ. As usual, fans were quick to bash him on social media.

The result has been that the preseason hasn’t been the best start for the Wizards. They have lost both their games, but there is one person who still sees some good in the Forward. The Wizards had open practice today at Morgan State University’s gym. So, in an interview, the organization’s head coach Wes Unseld Jr. claimed that certain skills of Kuzma are overlooked and partially blamed the Lakers.

“His playmaking ability is somewhat surprising to me. The makeup of that roster, he didn’t have the opportunity to showcase that. Having him here, putting him in those positions, has allowed us to see some of that,” explained Wes.

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Like Kuz, Wes Unseld Jr. also has a lot to prove

This is Wes’ first season as head coach of the Wizards, which means that he is also under a lot of pressure with the team. However, it is safe to say that appearing in the first round of the playoffs will be a great feat to begin with.

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Oct 9, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) shoots the ball over New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin (1) during the third quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards are definitely not a title-contending team as yet. Of course, the preseason hardly determines what’s to come in the regular season. But it surely helps forms fans’ judgments. Do you think Kuzma and Co. can change the perception about them once the season begins? Or will this be another disappointing year for Kuz?

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Yashima Bhatia

1566 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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