In Soccer, the world remembers Lionel Messi as the best Barcelona player, but seldom will they discuss Dani Alves’ contribution in the same years. It’s an occupational hazard in sports that the scorers take the cherry. Similarly, in the NBA, LeBron James will always make headlines for the Lakers’ victory while the bench might not.
Specifically, Alex Caruso is one such Laker who always remains under the radar and performs well. His pennyworth almost goes invisible, just like that lead character in the Japanese sports manga series, Kuroko’s Basketball. Caruso is surely the Tetsuya Kuroko of the Lakers and here’s why.
Anthony Davis figured out Caruso’s importance
Recently, the Lakers’ big man Anthony Davis learned how Alex Caruso is the silent weapon in their roster. Thanks to veteran Jared Dudley, AD noticed something positively strange.
AD expressed in an interview, “He’s a smart player… not the highest paid, doesn’t have all the accolades and credentials, and a lot of people don’t notice him, but he plays the right way. He locks up defensively, makes tough shots, scrappy. I saw a stat, Dudz told me after the Detroit game that in our losses he’s a plus 46 in plus-minus or something like that, which just shows that any time you throw him on the floor he’s always in the plus column in plus-minus.”
The Lakers lost to the Pistons 92-107 in a very heartbreaking manner. In the game, from the players who timed at least 20 minutes on the floor, only Caruso had a positive +/-. This just shows how he is the most efficient rotation player and deserves recognition.
The Lakers have always benefited from the Bald Mamba around
Alex is just into the fourth season of his career and has averaged somewhere between 5-6 points all through his career. However, the classic figures speak less of his importance than those advanced ones. In the Lakers’ recent championship run, the 6’4” guard had +3.8 plus-minus and +9.8 net rating. Now this year, he has bettered those already impressive figures to +6.3 plus-minus and +17.5 in net rating.
As AD further added, “He’s playing the right way, he’s affecting the game in a positive way. So for him to be out there in the closing lineup, we fully trust him, and he always comes up and makes big plays just like what you saw tonight at the end of the game.”
He was referring to Caruso’s performance against the Celtics. Even in that game, Caruso recorded the team’s highest, +14 in plus-minus mostly because of his amazing defense work even in clutch time.
All of this points towards Frank Vogel’s rising phoenix. Are you a Caruso fan already? Help us know why in the comments.
Read also – Lakers’ Alex Caruso Explains Why Rajon Rondo Turns into Playoff Rondo During the Postseason
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