‘Just a Rehearsal’: Kyle Kuzma Reveals the Los Angeles Lakers’ Approach to the Regular-Season

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The Los Angeles Lakers recently faced a harsh defeat against the Detroit Pistons, but that doesn’t bar the fact that they’ve enjoyed a great start to the season. The defending champions are the major victims of the shortest off-season in NBA history, and the players are approaching the regular-season from a different perspective. 

The league has devised a 72-game regular-season, owing to the inevitable hindrances caused by the pandemic. The Lakers have been at the top of the league ever since the 2021 season began, and the coaching staff has done a tremendous job of making the revamped roster work as a unit.

Jan 12, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) tosses powder in the air before a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Kuzma credited the Lakers’ coaching staff during a recent media availability for working hard towards establishing a winning culture with the new roster.   “We’re a brand new team, we’re playing like 14 people. So it’s a tough situation,” Kuzma said

Kyle Kuzma reveals how the Lakers have been treating the regular-season

The players will play ten games less during the regular-season than what they’re regularly used to. Teams still have to get past a massive challenge to reach the playoffs, and the Lakers are wary of the threat that they face this season. 

They have a reputation to keep, and Kuzma has been receiving critical advice from Lakers’ assistant coach Jason Kidd. The 25-year-old credited Kidd for instilling a mentality that the regular-season is “just a rehearsal” for the playoffs. 

Jan 1, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) drives against San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) in the second half at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s always said that the regular season is just rehearsal for the playoffs, and you’ve just got to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Especially for a team like us,” Kuzma said. 

“Everything is all film-related because we have a lot of high-IQ guys that can translate something from a TV to the court. So a lot of times during the regular season, our practice is sometimes the games, and this is how we figure it out. That’s how we figure it out,” he added. 

The Lakers aren’t approaching the regular-season with the highest intensity, but they’re gradually preparing their roster for what’s yet to come. The purple and gold will face immense pressure on their shoulders this season, having to defend what they won in 2020. 

Also Read | Celtics’ Brad Stevens Says LeBron James Would Have Won More MVPs ‘If People Didn’t Get Bored’

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