The first accolade for Kyle Kuzma is already in as the Los Angeles Lakers forward was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, the NBA announced.
Kuzma joined Jordan Clarkson as the only Lakers rookies to ever win the award, as Clarkson captured his in March 2014 on the way to being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. At this rate, Kuzma will be joining Clarkson on that list as well.
He currently leads the Lakers in scoring at 16.7 points, good for second amongst rookies. Kuzma’s 6.1 rebounds per game ranks fifth among rookies and he is also shooting 50.4 percent from the field and a team-leading 37.9 percent from 3-point range, each of which is ranks third when compared to all rookies.
Furthermore, Kuzma became the first player in NBA history to record 330 points, 120 rebounds, and make 30 3-pointers in the first 20 games of his NBA career.
He also became the first Lakers rookie since Magic Johnson to record 30 points and 10 rebounds in a game when he did so on Nov. 17 against the Phoenix Suns.
This was certainly not the expectation when Kuzma was drafted by the Lakers with the 27th overall pick in the 2017 Draft. While he flashed potential to be a stretch-4 while in college at Utah, he made major leaps once his college season ended. He worked hard to improve everywhere and it showed immediately.
Kuzma was a star during the Lakers’ run to a Summer League Championship in Las Vegas and his high level of play continued during preseason and now into the regular season. When Larry Nance Jr. went down with an injury, Kuzma was inserted into the starting lineup and raised his game even more, averaging 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds as a starter.
Kuzma missed the Lakers most recent game against the Golden State Warriors due to back spasms, but already looks to be feeling better and the Lakers hope to have him back for Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
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