The Los Angeles Lakers have been a bit of a surprise so far during the 2017-2018 NBA season. With nearly a quarter of the season done, the Lakers have established themselves as one of the league’s best defensive teams but have largely struggled to score on the offensive end.
Although Lonzo Ball is the clear media focus on a nightly basis, Kyle Kuzma has easily been Los Angeles’ most impressive rookie. Drafted 27th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, Kuzma has shown his versatility and knack for scoring at all three levels, a huge boon for a rebuilding Lakers franchise.
According to Lakers, the rookie forward was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November:
OFFICIAL: @kylekuzma Named Western Conference Rookie of the Month
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 1, 2017
After Larry Nance Jr. was sidelined after fracturing his hand, Kuzma stepped into the starting power forward role and added a new element to the Lakers’ offense. His ability to known down open jump shots and put the ball on floor gave Los Angeles more room to operate and allowed them to score easy baskets.
Kuzma, along with Ball and Brandon Ingram, appear to be foundation pieces for the purple and gold to build around as they continue to grow and improve. The storied franchise has struggled the past several years but may finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.