The Lakers Need A Lot More Of Alex Caruso

Photo by Atiba Jefferson/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers Need A Lot More Of Alex Caruso

 

Alex Caruso’s impact has been evident throughout the season and it is once again on full display on last night’s Pelicans vs Lakers game.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers forged a 9-point lead to beat the New Orleans Pelicans to a score of 109 – 118. Strong showing from the Bald Mamba who was such a huge factor in this LA win.

Alex Caruso delivered with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and 1 block on 60% shooting in 17 minutes. Along with his box score production, Caruso also netted a plus/minus rating of +20 which is better than Rajon Rondo who had a +/- of -17 in only 11 minutes.

Last time, I wrote a piece about Rondo regarding his high and lows this year. In that piece, I’ve mentioned something about Caruso being more applauded by fans due to the value that he brings over Rondo—last night’s game is a proof ‘why’. Interestingly, it’s just one of many.

Caruso outplaying Rondo isn’t new this season. In fact, we could argue that the Bald Mamba has been the better player so far this year. His stats may not be impressive on many occasions, but his impact always stays the same.

Watch this play where Caruso signals LeBron James to pass to the open shooter while he sets up the screen. This winning play wouldn’t have been possible without Caruso.

 

 

Another Caruso screen that sealed two defenders which opened up LeBron for a drive.

 

 

Caruso with a screen on center Jonas Valanciunas to open up Anthony Davis.

 

 

Here’s Caruso playing good defense on Jamal Murray then he ran up to guard Jokic, held his own, then rotated on the potential open shooter.

 

 

Caruso with a two-way play; a tough layup then forcing a 5-second violation on the defensive end. 

 

 

Unquestionably, Rondo is the quarterback of the team alongside LeBron James. Caruso doesn’t have that playmaking ability, but he does a lot of things that don’t stuff the stat-sheet which allow him to be more impactful than the veteran point guard at times. 

Nonetheless, both are instrumental to winning, each in their own style of play. Everything is up to coach Frank Vogel to constantly find the balance in minutes between the two point guards. The Los Angeles Lakers will need every bit of them come playoff time for sure.

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