Russell Westbrook may have had a 20-20-20 game while matched up against Alex Caruso, but Caruso had something even better: a performance unsullied by blatant statpadding. He “only” had 15 points and 7 assists (and 2 rebounds), which at first glance seems way worse that Westbrook’s statline, but all of his stats came within the flow of the game. He didn’t monopolize the ball to chase arbitrary accomplishments. He scored when he needed to score, passed when he needed to pass, and dunked when he needed to dunk. Most importantly: he respected his teammates by not yelling at them to shoot it every time he passed them the ball.
I will say that maybe Caruso could be a little more aggressive in general. Deferring to your teammates is all well and good until your teammates start including players like Mike Muscala and Jemerrio Jones. He did have 23 points the game prior (I know I said I wouldn’t make any jokes about his hair this season but I put “Bald Mamba” in the thumbnail image, I’m so sorry it won’t happen again), but I thought that was just a taste of things to come. Instead, he regressed back to his usual scoring against the Thunder. No need to be scared, dude. LeBron’s on the bench now, he doesn’t care if you shoot some of the shots that he normally would be shooting.