Lakers Information: Gregg Popovich is ‘a giant fan’ of Kyle Kuzma, compares him to Manu Ginobili

Kyle Kuzma has had a tough time shaking the rust off since he made his return from harm on Friday. In three appearances for the Los Angeles Lakers, Kuzma is averaging 9.7 factors on 38.7% taking pictures from the sphere, together with an abysmal 12.5% from 3-point vary on 5.Three makes an attempt per recreation.

Nonetheless, there’s motive to be optimistic that Kuzma will settle into his function because the No. Three possibility subsequent to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and it stems from the time he spent with USA Basketball this summer time. By means of the three exhibition video games Kuzma performed for Crew USA, he confirmed potential as a playmaker and made his 3-point makes an attempt at an environment friendly clip (6-8).

Sadly, Kuzma needed to go away Crew USA’s camp early because of the stress response that saved him sidelined for all of preseason and the primary 4 video games of the common season. Throughout his temporary time with Crew USA, although, he made an enduring impression on the workforce’s head coach, Gregg Popovich.

After the Lakers beat Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, he advised Kyle Goon of the OC Register that he loved teaching Kuzma and even in contrast him to an NBA legend identified for offering a scoring punch off of the bench:

“I didn’t know him in any respect and in all honesty watching him play every now and then throughout the season I didn’t see quite a lot of rhyme and motive to what he was doing,” Popovich mentioned. “He appeared like a younger Manu (Ginobili), he was working round, energetic and keen and dealing arduous, however he had no thought what was going to occur.”

Like USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo, Popovich thought Kuzma would have been a giant assist to Crew USA, who completed seventh place on the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China:

“I can inform you when he acquired harm, it was an enormous blow for our workforce, as a result of we have been all enthusiastic about him,” he mentioned. “He had come a good distance in simply that brief time period that we had, in each side of the sport. Particularly the psychological half. He actually caught on to the issues we have been speaking to him about and I turned a giant fan. He was nice.”

Kuzma confirmed flashes of what he labored on whereas he was with Crew USA within the Lakers’ thrilling comeback win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. In 21:08, Kuzma scored 15 factors off the bench, together with 11 factors within the fourth quarter. He additionally grabbed 7 rebounds.

Kuzma won’t go on to have the Basketball Corridor of Fame profession Ginobili did, but it surely’s not arduous to think about him making an influence off the bench the identical method Ginobili did on the 4 championship groups he was on. Plus, if Popovich is a fan of Kuzma’s, there should be some untapped potential there.

For extra Lakers speak, subscribe to the Silver Display screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You possibly can comply with this creator on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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