On Monday we saw Gary Harris play like a star and Kyle Kuzma play like he wants to win the Rookie of the Year award.
Gary Harris - 25 points, two rebounds, one assist
Maybe I’m jumping the gun after one preseason game, but Gary Harris looked incredible on Monday. He knocked down a barrage of threes in the Denver Nuggets 113-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, and it’s become clear who their go-to scorer is going to be. Most of Harris’ shots were uncontested, thanks to the crisp ball movement by Denver, but that didn’t stop him from having to create points if the offense stagnated.
Last year, Harris had just three games with 25 or more points. And this was a much-improved showing from the eight he registered against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Kyle Kuzma - 23 points, two assists, one rebound
I tweeted Monday night asking how long until Laker fans turn on Lonzo Ball and start riding the Kuzma bandwagon. It was mostly sarcastic. Kuz’s play over the last two games has been eye-opening, and he isn’t shy about anything. His 23 led the Lakers, and he went 9-of-17 overall and an even more impressive 4-of-9 from three. The unselfish style Los Angeles is playing has benefitted everyone, but Kuzma just gets more shots because he’s aggressive.
Putting him in the Rookie of the Year race may be a stretch. However, should he continue this, the Lakers will have an effective inside-out duo that no one expected.
Rudy Gobert - 15 points, 10 rebounds
Last night was Rudy Gobert’s first game as the leader of the Utah Jazz. And they dismantled the Sydney Kings 108-83. Rodney Hood had a team-high 18 points, but Gobert wasn’t far behind with his 15, and he continued to be a force on the glass and the defensive end. His offense hasn’t overextended, and Utah is still reliant on ball movement to get him open, but being as long and athletic as he is they can just throw the basketball up around the rim and see what happens.
The most bizarre part of Gobert’s showing was that he tallied just one block after leading the NBA last season.
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