Not in the top 100? You gotta be wiggin’.

Speaking of which, after Jimmy Butler gets traded, Kuzma would be the second best player on the T-Wolves. He’s so much better than Wiggins it’s not even funny.

Kuzma is a better shooter, rebounder and defender, has a higher PER and is superior in the majority of key offensive categories:

Isolation: 1.12 ppp, second only to James Harden (minimum one possession per game) 92nd percentile, vs Wiggins 17.9 percentile

Post Up: Kuzma 85th percentile, vs Wiggins 71.1 percentile

Put Backs: Wiggins 89th percentile vs Kuzma 69.9 percentile

Spot Up: Kuzma 51.3 EFG%, 47.8 percentile vs Wiggins 47.3% EFG%, 35.1 percentile

Transition: Wiggins (1.04 ppp) over Kuzma (0.98 ppp)

It’s comical how people underestimate Kuzma. For much of the season, he was the Lakers’ #1 option, so defenses keyed on him. And yet, he still dominated in games against elite NBA teams with top defenses, putting up these averages:

  • 2 games vs Golden State (26/10/2, shooting .583 3P%)
  • 2 games vs Boston (19/5/2, shooting .556 3P%)
  • 3 games vs Houston (27.7/8/2.3, shooting .556 3P%)

Now look at how Wiggins plays against these same teams:

  • 2 games vs Golden State (16.7/5/3, shooting .300 3P%),
  • 2 games vs Boston (11.5/5/2.5, shooting .167 3P%)
  • 3 games vs Houston (16.3/3.5/1.5, shooting .421 3P%)

Just for reference here are Jayson Tatum’s averages against these same teams, plus how he matched up against Kuzma:

  • 2 games vs Golden State (8/4.5/0, shooting .000 3P%),
  • 2 games vs Los Angeles (4.5/3/0.5, shooting .333 3P%)
  • 3 games vs Houston (15.5/4.5/2, shooting .400 3P%)

How do you explain a “bench player” putting up All-Star numbers against the top 3 teams in the league, while the other guys played below their average?

There’s a big difference between blind homerism, like making the absurd claim that Kobe was better than Jordan or LeBron, and pointing out how good the young Lakers are compared to how they are perceived by the media.

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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