In theory, a lineup featuring Danny Green, Kyle Kuzma, LeBron James and Anthony Davis is going to be damn near impossibly to guard, almost regardless of who operates as the point guard with that group. Green and Kuzma spacing the floor for James and Davis’ two-man game is the stuff that keeps defensive head coaches up at night.
Kuzma was asked how hyped he is to play with Davis specifically and, well, they’re both “excited” (via Lakers.com):
“I’m super excited to play with him. I think me and him are going to work out well. If you look back at the Pelicans days when he was there, he played his best basketball when (Nikola) Mirotic was at the four and he was at the five. I’m kind of similar in that aspect of just spacing the floor and giving him space to operate down there. You can’t really double him when me, ‘Bron and him are on the floor... It’s going to be exciting.”
For some context, in the 577 minutes Davis shared the floor with Mirotic a couple seasons ago (when Davis still cared about the Pelicans), they carried a 10.2 net rating, scoring 111 points per 100 possessions and allowing 100.8. New Orleans benefitted greatly from Mirotic’s ability to space the floor offensively while not giving up much length on the other end of the floor.
So in theory, Kuzma chose a pretty perfect example as to the player he’d like to be a version of so long as he and Davis are teammates.
The aforementioned group of Green, Kuzma, James and Davis has plenty of spacing and knowledgeable defenders to be able to deal with just about any situation, with the humungous and omnipresent caveat of: If Kuzma hits shots. That’s really what will determine if this combination will work, and more generally will decide whether Kuzma will offer value commensurate with how fans and the Lakers see him. He made his name as a rookie as a prolific scorer but then was, well, less than that last season under the microscope of playing alongside James.
Now, the lights are even brighter, the expectations greater. And while Kuzma is on the money with who he needs to be for the Lakers to succeed, the Lakers and this fan base has to hope his shooting is just as true.
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