Time and time again, Alex Caruso proves that he’s more than just a fan favorite. He’s developed into a very good player and one of the NBA’s best defenders. The Los Angeles Lakers guard was the only player that showed in the first half of the play-in game against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
He scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half, which helped keep the Lakers in the game. Also, his strong defense against Steph Curry played a major role in why Los Angeles was able to pull off the win. Many took note of Caruso’s stout defense and effort.
Young players take note.. Caruso had a shot to tie the game and hit the side of the backboard.
He didn’t hang his head. His body language stayed strong.
He then forced a turnover on Steph Curry and leads a break which gets his team to the line.
— Craig Doty (@CoachDoty) May 20, 2021
Some even pointed out that the guard deserves All-Defensive Team honors.
It’s a crime that Alex Caruso is not going to make an All-Defensive Team
This possession is nuts pic.twitter.com/0gHeqYrxHh
— Ry (@JustRyCole) May 20, 2021
Another clip of Caruso and Anthony Davis putting the clamps on Curry made the rounds.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 20, 2021
Caruso doesn’t typically light up the scoreboard but he does all the little things incredibly well. He’s truly developed into an elite defender.
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LeBron James on Caruso: He ‘Has Saved Our A**’
LeBron James has been one of Caruso’s biggest fans since Day 1. The two have amazing rapport and play extremely well together. He credited the guard with keeping the Lakers in the game against the Warriors.
“Caruso has saved our a**, I mean he kept us afloat in the first half offensively,” LeBron said after the game.
“His attention to detail, just smart, very smart, knows what he wants to do. Always in the right place at the right time. He just makes plays, just makes plays. Some of them show up in the box score, some of them don’t. But tonight, they definitely showed up in the box score. I mean, he pretty much carried us in the first half offensively and we just had to match him in the second half.”
Caruso is the perfect player to have on a team loaded with star talent. He’s just happy to contribute and isn’t too worried about stats.
Caruso Wants Another Championship
Caruso’s first couple of seasons with the Lakers weren’t very exciting. They missed the playoffs during his first two seasons. However, they won a championship in just his third season. Though many players go their entire career without winning, Caruso is eager to win another.
“I’m really just trying to win another championship, man,” Caruso said after Wednesday’s game. “I don’t think too big-picture until it’s over with. Just love playing basketball. We got a good … team, like I told you a couple weeks ago. And I’m just competitive, man. I like to play basketball. …
“I think it’s just part of my progression. I’m going to try and keep getting better and better and better and part of that is being aggressive to score and a lot of times that will set up my pass and good opportunities for my teammates. So, I don’t really think too much big-picture to answer your first question. I’m really just trying to win 16 more games.”
When you play for the Lakers, the goal is always to win championships. Caruso is certainly in the right place if that is his ultimate goal. With the guard set to be a free agent this offseason, Los Angeles should do what they can to figure out how to keep him.
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