Former NBA Champion Rips Into Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma for Performance Against Blazers

Published 12/29/2020, 1:22 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


The Los Angeles Lakers succumbed to their second loss of the season tonight. After an impressive performance last game, Kyle Kuzma couldn’t carry his form into tonight’s game against the Blazers.

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Just halfway through the game, former NBA champion Kendrick Perkins showed his disapproval for Kuzma. He was unhappy with his effort on the defensive end especially.

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Perkins acknowledged that Kuzma can score when he is in his groove. But when it comes to Kuzma’s defense, Perkins was unapologetic about his criticism.

Gary Trent Jr was on fire tonight

With the return of Anthony Davis, Kuzma came off the bench once again. When he was on the court, he was asked to guard Gary Trent Jr. Kuzma caught him on a bad day because the Blazers wing kept showering with points.

The Lakers forward could not contain Trent as he went berserk, scoring 28 points, including 7-11 from three. Although Kuzma wasn’t at his best on defense tonight, there wasn’t much anyone could do against Trent tonight. It was just one of those games for him where everything seemed to drop.

But Kuzma still needs to work on his game more. He has proven he can be a bucket like Perkins mentioned, but his perimeter defense has been suspect. Sometimes he gets caught on the interior too. The Lakers will hope that he can improve soon, at least by the playoffs.

Should the Lakers have started Kuzma today?

After having a stellar game against the Timberwolves, Kuzma was forced to bench for Davis. Davis missed the previous game due to a calf strain but was adjudged healthy to start.

But throughout the game, one could see how Davis was struggling. He shot 6-14 from the field and was outplayed by Jusuf Nurkic. He managed 10 rebounds, but on multiple occasions, there was no willingness to fight on the box out, despite the Lakers trailing. Davis should have rested for this game as well, and Kuzma should have got the start.

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But Kuzma did himself no favors with his inconsistent display. He went 2-9 from the field, with all but one attempt being from the three-point range. He needs to stay consistent if he wants to fight for a starting spot.

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Aaron Mathew

1527 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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