库兹马目前仅仅是得分手,但这足够了

发布:AF1 时间:2019-01-12 21:49 阅读:99 点击收藏

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作者:丹-迪瓦恩
译者:Alex
校对:Shiro&FangSir

对于现在的NBA球员,我们最大的期望是全能性。大个子如果能让防守者在25寸之外胆颤,那他就会更有统治力。得分后卫如果能做好自己的防守工作,也会显得更有价值。侧翼球员如果能切换挡拆,就会更有威胁。防守尖兵如果能开发出底角3分,则会更加厉害。比赛节奏现在越来越快,并且迭代的过快导致角色定位开始变化。位置变革使得全能性变成必要技能,而拥有专项技能的球员则不好过日子。

然而,我们必须回到哲学家的思想:

在NBA比赛中,有万千事物都很重要,但是没有什么事比能持续高效的把球放进篮筐内更重要了。而且该死的,库兹马在周三对底特律的比赛就是这么做的。

但你永远都有动力去做到更多。湖人教练卢克·沃顿在湖人与活塞比赛的第四节接受ESPN采访的时候说到,他很乐意看到他23岁的前锋在其他方面也作出贡献来终结比赛:抓下一些篮板,专注防守并且为队友创造机会,而不是专注于自己得分。这听起来不错:一个年轻教练试图鼓励一名有天赋的年轻球员为了球队去扩宽自己的比赛,特别是库兹马没有助攻、盖帽、抢断,仅仅拿下两个篮板。

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虽然这听起来可能有点奇怪,但库兹马在第三节拿下22分撕裂了活塞的防守,全场仅仅出战29分钟,取得了职业生涯新高的41分。库兹马在第三节爆发后提前打卡下班,因为沃顿让四名首发在第四节都休息了,让替补们以113-100的胜利结束这种比赛(库兹马的轮换比斯利在第四节拿到了15分,这可能会使你不禁想到,要不是沃顿把他换下场,这位二年级生将有机会成为联盟近一个月来的首个50分球员;相反,他成为了湖人历史长河中的一小部分)。

沃顿在周三有一群能抓板能传球的球员,但是詹姆斯依然因为圣诞大战的腹股沟拉伤而不能上场,沃顿只有一名球员能做到这点:

库兹马在周三的比赛中在禁区内拿到了湖人禁区得分72分钟的22分,是全队本赛季常规时间中最高的。他击溃了格里芬——一个强壮的、天赋异禀的、近年来因为比赛全能性而广受好评的大个子得分手。

在战胜达拉斯的比赛中,库兹马在背部挫伤归来后仅仅20投4中。两个夜晚后,库兹马回归,即在强大的活塞面前打出了24中16的命中率。他总共投了10个三分并命中了5个,以他的节奏虐杀了活塞,就好像一个男人在他选择的职业中做到了他能做到的最重要的事。当然,这需要努力。

“他留在体育馆内(在他对阵达拉斯打出糟糕表现之后)并投了500个投篮,”沃顿在周三赢下比赛后告诉记者。“在他观察了自己的跳投分解后,他尝试改善自己的节奏和方式,希望变得更好。”

即使如此,沃顿也忍不住吐槽了一下库兹马的数据单中空着的数据列:“他没有助攻,而且我们已经聊过这一点了,”他说道,并补充说,“这感觉好像球在到处传导,但是当给到库兹马手里的时候,他永远都会选择投出这个球。”

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周三的数据41-2-0-0-0是一个极端的例子,表明了库兹马的严重单方面发展。在NBA高于6英尺9寸的96名球员的赛季场均出场中,库兹马的篮板球率仅排名88。根据Cleaning the Glass的数据,他在大个子球员的盖帽和抢断率上都排名垫底。他在湖人的总助攻中的占比高于他的失误占比,对于他的菜鸟赛季来说有所提高,但还不够。

还有一些库兹马可以做到的事。例如,他正逐步成长为一个外线防守者,但他不是那种沃顿希望他成为的全能球员。但是冒着网络篮球写手的异端说法的风险,我要说,谁在乎啊?他现在每场以高于平均效率的水平拿下18.8分,尽管本赛季在三分线外有点挣扎。在新秀赛季场均36.6%的三分命中率后,本赛季他仅有30.6%的三分命中率,但依然在一些比赛,比如周三的比赛中,让人们有了他的命中率能逐步提升的希望。有他在场的情况下湖人每百回合能多得8分,而且不管詹姆斯在不在场,库兹马的得分效率都一样高。

在23岁的年纪,库兹马已经是湖人的第二得分威胁点了。即使这是他目前能做到的全部了,但我认为现在给他下定论还为时尚早。他做的事很有价值。事实上,价值很大,这也是为什么库兹马是湖人十分重要的组成部分,尽管他还是仅拿着170万美元合同的二年级生,意味着直到2022他都在球队。

“我并不知道他三节拿了41分,”英格拉姆在周三告诉记者。“但那就是他能做到的事,得分。他永远都有办法找到篮筐并把球放进去,这对球队来说很棒。”

鲍尔和英格拉姆的高顺位使他们的名字经常在球队钓大鱼的交易流言中被提到。但例如周三这样的夜晚,会让你觉得你应该提到那个2017年第27顺位的球员,那个虽然不会无处不在,但绝对举足轻重的球员,那个能成为洛杉矶最想追求的冠军碎片的球员,而且还可能是魔术师、佩林卡以及教练都最不愿意卖掉的球员。

原文:

One Dimension: Kyle Kuzma’s Just a Scorer for Now, but That’s Just Fine
The Lakers want more from the sweet-shooting sophomore, even though his offensive fireworks are currently the team’s most entertaining asset

By Dan Devine

What we want from players in today’s NBA, more than anything else, is versatility. Big men matter more if they can make defenses nervous from 25 feet away. Point guards matter more if they can defend their own position. Wings matter more if they can switch screens. Lockdown artists matter more—and, increasingly, only—if they develop a corner 3. The game is too fast and is evolving too quickly for role definitions to remain sedentary; the positional revolution has made polymathy a must, and woe betide the specialists, those who have found a way in this short life to get good at one thing.

And yet, we must always return to the words of the philosopher:

Millions of things can matter in an NBA game, but nothing matters more than the ability to repeatedly and efficiently put the ball in the basket. And holy hell, did Kyle Kuzma ever do that against the Pistons on Wednesday.

But there’s always a drive to do more. During his interview with ESPN entering the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ matchup with Detroit, L.A. coach Luke Walton said he’d like to see his 23-year-old forward contribute in other areas to help close out a big home win over the Pistons: to grab some rebounds, to dig in on defense, and to facilitate for his teammates, rather than just looking for his own offense. That sounds about right: a young coach trying to encourage a talented young player to expand his game for the good of the team—especially with Kuzma having tallied no assists, blocks, or steals, and just two boards to that point.

It did sound a little odd, though, coming on the heels of Kuzma busting up the Detroit defense to the tune of 22 third-quarter points, part of a career-high 41 in 29 minutes of work. Kuzma’s evening ended after that explosion, as Walton gave four of his five starters the fourth quarter off and let his reserves finish a 113-100 win. (Kuzma’s replacement, Michael Beasley, scored 15 points in the fourth, which makes you think maybe the sophomore might’ve had a chance at being the league’s first 50-point scorer in nearly a month had Walton let him cook; instead, he got an arcane sliver of Laker history all to himself.)

Walton had a bunch of dudes capable of grabbing rebounds and making extra passes Wednesday. (Shouts out to Lonzo Ball and the unshackled Brandon Ingram.) But with LeBron James still sidelined by the groin injury that he suffered Christmas Day, he had only one who could do this:

Kuzma scored 22 of the Lakers’ 72 points in the paint Wednesday, the team’s highest total in a non-overtime game this season. He dusted Blake Griffin—a fellow big, physical, gifted scorer who has earned praise in recent years for diversifying his game.

Two nights after returning from a lower back contusion with a yikes-y 4-for-20 shooting performance in a win over Dallas, Kuzma shot 16-for-24 against the overmatched Pistons. He drilled five of his 10 3-point attempts, roasting Detroit in such a natural rhythm that he looked for all the world like a man made to do the one thing that matters most in his chosen profession. That takes work, though.

“He was in the gym [the day after his poor performance in Dallas] and he got up 500 shots,” Walton told reporters after Wednesday’s win. “He was working on his stroke and working on his form from what he noticed in the breakdown of his jumper, trying to get it better.”

Even so, Walton couldn’t help but poke at the decidedly less-stuffed areas of Kuzma’s stat sheet: “He had zero assists, which he and I have talked about,” he said, adding, “It felt like [the ball] was skipping around out there until it hit Kuz’s hand, and then it was going up every time.”

Wednesday’s 41-2-0-0-0 line represented an extreme example of how heavily Kuzma’s production tilts in one direction. Of the 96 NBA players 6-foot-9 or taller to qualify for this season’s minutes-per-game leaderboard, Kuzma ranks 88th in rebound rate. He sits in the bottom quarter of the league among bigs in block and steal percentage, according to Cleaning the Glass. He dishes assists on a higher share of the Lakers’ possessions than he commits turnovers, an improvement over his rookie season, but not by much.

There are other things Kuzma can do—he’s taken steps forward as a perimeter defender, for example—but he’s not the kind of all-around player that Walton clearly wants him to become. But at the risk of internet-basketball-writing heresy … like, who cares? He’s averaging 18.8 points per game on an above-average effective field goal percentage despite struggling from the 3-point arc this season—he’s shooting just 30.6 percent from deep after shooting 36.6 percent as a rookie, with nights like Wednesday offering some hope that those numbers will tick north as the season continues. The Lakers score nearly eight more points per 100 possessions with him on the court and have scored about as efficiently in minutes when Kuzma’s on the floor sans LeBron as when they share it.

At 23 years old, Kuzma is already the Lakers’ second-best scoring threat. Even if that’s all he is, and it’s still too early to write that story, that’s not nothing. It’s a lot, in fact, which is why Kuzma—making just $1.7 million in the second season of a rookie contract that will keep him under team control through at least 2022—is such an interesting piece for the Lakers.

“I didn’t know he had 41 points in three quarters,” Ingram told reporters Wednesday. “But that’s kind of what he does, scoring the basketball. He always has a knack for finding the basketball and putting it inside the rim and that’s good for our team.”

Ingram’s and Ball’s top-of-the-draft pedigree frequently brings their names to the forefront of trade speculation for a team that’s clearly aiming for the biggest target on the market. But nights like Wednesday make you think that it’s the player taken 27th overall in 2017—the one whose game might not check every box, but sure checks a damn big one—who could be L.A.’s most sought-after piece ... and maybe the one Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka, and Co. would be most loath to sell off.

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