Kyle Kuzma after his breakout game against the Suns “I know I can shoot… and that’s what it is”.

Nov 12, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (right) against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Kuzma has received a lot of criticism for his recent play after returning from a foot injury that caused him to miss all of training camp.

Prior to the Suns game, Kuzma had an eFG% of .453 and was only shooting 20% from three.

On Sunday night, Kuzma got absolutely cooked by Pascal Siakim and looked like the Lakers weak link for much of that game.

Kuzma responded nicely on Tuesday night against the Suns scoring 23 points off the bench including huge threes in the 4th quarter.

Following the game, Mike Trudell asked Kuzma about finding his rhythm. Kuzma responded by saying “I know I can shoot… and that’s what it is.

Kuzma is not lacking in confidence. There’s not a shot he doesn’t like, and that can lead to spectacular highlights as well as head scratching moments.

After shooting in the upper 30’s on threes during his rookie season, he shot an underwhelming 30% on threes last season.

Kuzma has been marketed as the Lakers third best player, and the Lakers seem to truly think he has star potential. He has the confidence of a star, but it’s a fair question to ask if his confidence matches his game.

After his first 5 games of his season, even considering his injury, it was easy to write him off as more fluff than substance.

I’m a bit mixed on Kuzma. I think that he has all the makings of a very good player, but his shot selection, defensive weaknesses, and decision making leave much to be desired.

I think there’s a world where Kuzma is a 15-18 point per game scorer, plays solid defense, and plays within the Lakers offense.

There’s also a world where he is targeted on defense, shoots one too many pull-up threes, and proves to be an inefficient player.

It’s hard to say after his 6th game back where Kuzma ends up, but if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that he won’t be lacking in confidence.

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