Lakers News: Five reasons starting Kyle Kuzma send the right message

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

It puts the real pressure to perform on Lonzo Ball

By no means has Lonzo Ball been awful, but there’s still tons of room for him to grow as a player and a leader given the expectations that Magic Johnson has placed on the former UCLA Bruin. By putting Kyle Kuzma in the starting lineup, the excuses for Ball start to really minimize.

The reason for that goes back to the chemistry that was hinted between Kuzma and Ball over the summer. Add to that the fact that Kuzma can be a better scorer, at least at this point in their respective careers, while Ball can focus on passing and other elements that he brings to the table.

More from LA Sports Hub

Up to this point, the show has all been about Lonzo Ball. With another rookie getting starting minutes, the pressure on Ball to perform will inherently go up. There’s not a chance that the Lakers are going to want Kuzma to turn out to be better than Ball, so it’ll speed up the evaluation process for the rookie point guard.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has really been starting in order to help on defense, while Brandon Ingram still has to improve his game to be a legitimate x-factor and Brook Lopez has done his part but he’s not a piece to the young core that they’ve been growing

Finally, if Kuzma is able to break more out of his shell with this opportunity, it may be what’s best for Lonzo Ball in the immediate future. And if that means cutting playing time for Larry Nance Jr. upon his return from injury and/or keeping Julius Randle‘s minutes at bay, so be it.

Not to mention the fact that Lonzo, let alone his father, LaVar, isn’t about to let the family brand be shown up when it’s supposedly their time to shine.