For the Los Angeles Lakers, Kyle Kuzma’s buzzer beating, game winning three with 0.04 seconds left in a meaningless game could be the shot that saved their season and restored their momentum heading into the playoffs.
That head coach Frank Vogel drew up a play for Kyle Kuzma instead of superstars LeBron James or Anthony Davis made the moment even more special as Kuzma had clearly been the Lakers’ best player in the bubble. While we won’t know until the playoffs begin whether one shot that didn’t matter could revitalize the Lakers and restore the energy and confidence they had before the bubble, key moments like this can often be cathartic.
Kuzma’s clutch three was a moment the struggling Lakers desperately needed after losing four of their first six games in the bubble and suffering their trustworthy offense and 3-point shooting rudely abandoning them. The Lakers’ obvious relief and spontaneous reaction on the court and bench and later in the locker room seemed more reminiscent of watching the team celebrate winning a championship than a seemingly unimportant game.
For the Lakers, it was like a cloud had been lifted after losing their home court advantage and valuable momentum as the league’s best team only then to be forced to endure the unfair challenges of playing in the bubble. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were suddenly playing like superstars, Kuz was back as the toast of the town, the threes were finally falling, and the basketball gods were once again smiling on the purple and gold.
With just one inconsequential seeding game left and a full week to practice and prepare for their first playoff game, Kuzma’s potential season saving shot could not have come at a more auspicious moment for the Lakers. Frank Vogel has had a chance to integrate the new players on the roster and to figure out his starting lineup and rotations depending on the matchups. All that remains now is to find who the Lakers’ first round foe will be.
As for Lakers fans, we can join the team in enjoying the deep collective sigh Kyle Kuma’s transformative shot had on our fragile purple and gold psyches. Suddenly, at least for the moment, all is well in the world of the Lakers.
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