Kyle Kuzma offers ‘hot take’ that Lakers can make it to 2023 NBA Finals

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers and current Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma believes that the Lakers can make it to the NBA Finals this season.

Los Angeles plays the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night in the league’s play-in tournament with a chance to earn the No. 7 seed in the playoff bracket with a win. Even if the Lakers lose, they will have a chance to earn the No. 8 seed by beating the winner of the game featuring the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds.

Kuzma was a part of the Lakers team that won the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season, so he clearly knows firsthand what LeBron James and Anthony Davis are capable of in the postseason.

The last time the Lakers were in the playoffs in the 2020-21 season, James wasn’t fully healthy as he had injured his ankle earlier in the season and returned at less than 100 percent for the playoffs.

James is dealing with a foot injury this season, but he came back for several games to end the regular season, helping the Lakers move up to the No. 7 spot in the West.

Over the Lakers’ last 18 games, the team went 13-5, showing that it can contend in the West. The additions of Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Mo Bamba at the trade deadline have also made the Lakers a deeper team this season.

It’s great to see Kuzma showing confidence in his former teammates, but the road to the 2023 NBA Finals won’t be an easy one for the Lakers.

If Los Angeles wins on Tuesday, the team would take on the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs.

From there, Los Angeles would face the winner of the matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings in the second round. If Los Angeles ends up in the No. 8 seed, it would have to go through the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs with the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers versus Phoenix Suns series waiting in the second round.

The Western Conference is tough this season, but Davis and James are as good a duo as any to trust to make the NBA Finals. Kuzma is putting his trust in them this postseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.