This season didn’t end how it was supposed to for the Los Angeles Lakers. Coming off a championship, many expected the team to compete for a title once again. For a while, it looked like they would. The Lakers started off 21-6 and looked like the best team in the NBA.
Unfortunately, injuries started piling up. Both Anthony Davis and LeBron James missed significant time and dropped from the top seed in the Western Conference to the seventh. That led to them being matched up with the Phoenix Suns in the first round in the playoffs. The Lakers held a 2-1 lead on them before Davis got hurt again and the team ended up losing the next three games.
The Suns are now in the NBA Finals while Los Angeles watches from home. Kyle Kuzma recently had a chance to talk about what made Phoenix have a special season and dropped some insight on why the Lakers struggled.
“When we played them, I think the biggest thing that stood out was they had much more chemistry than us,” Kuzma said of the Suns during an interview with Stadium. “They did a great job of just playing together, having out there, talking to each other and really just communicating on a championship level.”
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Chemistry Was Lakers’ Strength Last Season
It’s notable that Kuzma would point out the Lakers having a lack of chemistry. Last season, the team was praised for their excellent chemistry. However, it was obvious that things weren’t gelling as well this season.
Many of the Lakers’ offseason moves were praised previously. Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell were seen as upgrades over JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. Wes Matthews was seen as an upgrade over Danny Green and Dennis Schroder an upgrade over Rajon Rondo. Individually, that’s likely true but it’s clear that the new crop of guys didn’t mesh as well with the rest of the roster. When Davis went down in the playoffs, nobody was able to step up. Had the Lakers had better chemistry, it may have been easier for a guy like Kuzma or Andre Drummond to put together a big game or two.
Is Kuzma Done With Lakers?
Due to the disappointing nature of this season, it’s possible that major changes are on the way for the Lakers. One guy who may not be back is Kuzma. He’s the longest-tenured player on the team but it could be better for both sides to part ways.
Kuzma was supposed to be a third star for the Lakers when they traded for Davis. That hasn’t been the case and he’s regressed significantly on offense. He does have talent and has shown flashes of really good ability. However, those flashes are becoming rarer every season. A fresh start with a team that uses him more often could be the best move. He could be a really good player for a younger team where he can start. The Lakers should trade him soon before he has no more value.