Kuzma scored 18 points (6-16 FG, 4-8 3Pt, 2-2 FT) while adding seven rebounds, five assists and two steals across 29 minutes in Monday's 123-114 loss to the Grizzlies.
Kuzma has been coming off the bench for the most part since January 5th, but it has not diminished his playing time as he has averaged 28.2 minutes since then. He continues his solid rookie campaign by proving he can hit the three and contributing in the other to major categories, mainly rebounds. The assist total Monday night tied his highest for the season, so if Kuzma can prove he can facilitate as well as get to the basket and score, he will become a more all-around and feared player.
Kuzma will shift into a bench role for Friday's game against the Hornets, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register reports.
The Lakers have really struggled of late, losing their last eight games in a row. For that reason, coach Luke Walton will change up the lineup a bit, going with Julius Randle and Brook Lopez as the starters at power forward and center, respectively, while bringing Kuzma off the bench. That being said, Kuzma will still likely see hefty minutes, so the move to the bench shouldn't cost him much playing time, if any at all.
Kuzma (quadriceps) started at power forward and generated a team-high 18 points (7-14 FG, 3-6 3Pt, 1-3 FT) and added three rebounds, two blocks and an assist across 28 minutes in Wednesday's 133-96 loss to the Thunder.
After aggravating his sore right quadriceps in Monday's loss to the Timberwolves and playing just 18 minutes, Kuzma was uncertain to suit up heading into Wednesday, but the Lakers ultimately signed off on the rookie's return to action. Lakers head coach Luke Walton suggested that Kuzma's minutes would be limited during the contest, but the forward ended up seeing a relatively normal total after factoring in the blowout nature of the contest. Kuzma looks like he'll enter Friday's game against the Hornets without any restrictions.
Kuzma (quad) will have his minutes monitored for Wednesday's game against the Thunder and possibly for more games moving forward, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN reports. According to coach Luke Walton: "... We will keep an eye out to see if he is looking like he is fatiguing out there and monitor those minutes going forward... I think it is fighting through the fatigue and schedule that we have been playing more than the quad."
Before Monday's 18-minute outing, Kuzma was playing 38.8 minutes per game since Dec. 22 and wasn't performing particularly well. Over that six-game stretch, he was shooting just 36.4 percent from the field on 18.3 attempts per game. In his 28 appearances prior, he was shooting 50.7 percent from the field on 13.2 attempts per game while averaging 31.2 minutes. While Kuzma has been dealing with a quad bruise as of late, it doesn't appear that's the main concern of coach Walton. As a result, there seems to be a strong possibility we see a reduced workload for the rookie moving forward.
Kuzma (quad) is available to play in Wednesday's game against the Thunder, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet reports.
Kuzma has been dealing with a sore right quad, but will opt to play through it heading into Wednesday's contest. As long as everything goes as planned in pregame warmups, Kuzma will likely take on his typical role as the team's starting power forward. The Lakers aren't reporting any sort of restrictions for their rookie forward, though it wouldn't be surprising if coach Luke Walton kept a close eye on his overall workload. It may be worth it to monitor Kuzma's status up until tip-off to make sure he's in the starting lineup as usual.
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