With the competition level out West, any team - perhaps aside from Golden State - missing its best player for an extended time was going to take a real hit.
The Los Angeles Lakers have considered signing a center to add to their frontcourt depth.
Now sitting at 30-34 and five and a half games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the National Basketball Association.
When LeBron James joined the Lakers, it was as if the stars had aligned for a franchise that has needed a necessary resurgence since the days that Kobe Bryant rocked the purple and gold.
This one is kind of a no-brainer.
The Lakers would have to finish, say, 13-5 if the Spurs finished 6-11 in order to leapfrog them in the standings. But with the Lakers with a negative record this season, the chances for LeBron are low to get into the playoffs.
The Lakers' second-leading scorer this season with an 18.8-point average (a career high), Kuzma also has personal bests through 60 games in field goal percentage (46.5 percent) and assists (2.5). James was already frustrated after his team's loss to their city rivals but was also upset for Kuzma, who has been impressive with an average of 18.8 points and 5.6 rebounds this season.
The Lakers have lost three in a row and five of their past six. This season, when the Lakers have received 50% or more of bets, they have gone 16-29-1 (35.6%) ATS.
Kyle Kuzma too suffered an ankle injury last night and an MRI scan shows that he will surely be out against the Nuggets.
Ivica Zubac played a part in the Clippers win against the Lakers in the LA Derby and received an ovation from the home fans.
At the time, Lonzo tweeted (with a smiley emoji), "Lakers ain't even makin the Playoffs".
If the team hopes to make any sort of run at the postseason, they will need Kuzma back on the court ASAP. It was great to see Josh play well again. It simply isn't good enough to compete in the Western Conference and that's simply not acceptable for a LeBron-led team.