Kyle Kuzma says Lakers would’ve repeated as champs in 2020-21 season if they were healthy

Orel Dizon
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Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma made a bold claim recently that the Purple and Gold would have repeated as champions in the 2020-21 campaign if the players, presumably LeBron James and Anthony Davis in particular, were healthy.

The 2019-20 season will forever be etched in the memories of Lakers fans, as it marked the franchise’s first title in a decade. What arguably makes that championship run more meaningful is that L.A. didn’t even make the postseason during the previous six campaigns.

Davis’ arrival in the 2019 offseason certainly changed the fortunes of the franchise, as it provided James with a partner to help carry the load offensively and defensively.

However, the star duo doesn’t deserve all the credit for the Lakers winning the 2020 championship. James and Davis had a solid supporting cast that included Kuzma, who averaged 12.8 points per game in the regular season and 10.0 points per contest in the playoffs.

Furthermore, the team had a great defense, as it recorded a defensive rating of 106.1 in the regular season, good for third in the league.

The following season saw the Lakers bring back many of their core players in hopes of repeating as champions. However, the injury bug bit the squad throughout the 2020-21 campaign.

Davis missed half of the regular season, as he was able to suit up for just 36 games. The eight-time All-Star also looked like a shell of his best self in the matches that he appeared in, averaging career-lows in rebounds and blocks per game while converting less than half of his shots from the field.

As for James, he also missed a significant number of games, playing in just 45 regular season contests. Even so, the four-time MVP performed admirably, averaging 25.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists per match in the regular season.

The Lakers ultimately stumbled to a 42-30 record, good for seventh place in the Western Conference. Although it defeated the Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament to extend its season, the team fell to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs.

It’s unclear whether Los Angeles would have made another title run if James and Davis were healthy that season. But Kuzma seems confident the Lakers would have done it.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.