USA Basketball gave the world the first look at the highly scrutinized 2019 FIBA World Cup squad. Lacking the star power of previous USA Basketball teams, this year’s camp offers a wide-open race where seemingly every player has a legitimate shot to make the roster.
Among those players is the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma – the only representative for the purple and gold at USA Basketball camp. Kuzma has made a number of adjustments to his game this offseason and through the first few days, showed off what looks to be an effective new look jump shot.
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Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Has Quiet Game in USA Basketball Scrimmage
Despite showing some signs of improvement over the first few days at USA Basketball camp, Kuzma didn’t see too much time on the court in the Blue vs White scrimmage. Kuzma was able to throw down the rim-rattling dunk shown above, however, didn’t contribute much else in his limited time on the court. Kuzma didn’t do too much in order to earn more playing time on the evening and looks to be one of the players on the fence for a roster spot heading into the FIBA World Cup.
Kuzma threw down his big dunk in the second half, yet seemed to produce a bit more in his limited showing in the first half – despite not scoring any points. Kuzma showed a willingness to pass to the open man while doing some solid work on the glass – areas he was a bit shaky in years prior.
While Kuzma didn’t necessarily show out in his appearance, one player who stood head and shoulders above the rest was Kings’ point guard De’Aaron Fox. Fox applied consistent pressure to opposing ballhandlers while showcasing his elite athleticism and improved shooting touch. With seemingly nobody on the Select Team (White team) capable of staying in front of him, Fox looks poised to run roughshod on the international competition – assuming he makes the team.
Other Notable USA Basketball Scrimmage Standouts
While Fox shined brightly at the point, Jayson Tatum commanded just as much attention with his huge scoring output. Flashing efficient scoring from all three levels, Tatum looked much more efficient and seemed to understand the value of getting himself high percentage looks – rather than settling for the pull-up midrange shot that he has become so comfortable taking.
Kemba Walker also played well despite getting off to a slow start. Walker looks to be the clear-cut leader of team USA and is one of the few players – along with Tatum – capable of being relied on to go out and create his own baskets. Even with the lack of elite NBA talent on the roster, team USA doesn’t need Walker to carry the squad, just simply go out and get some buckets while facilitating the offense and getting the other talented players alongside him involved.