Alex Caruso was either inactive or a DNP for all but 6 of the Lakers’ first 60 games. While Rajon Rondo padded his stats and caused untold damage to the team (even LeBron couldn’t salvage lineups with Rondo in them), Caruso either balled out in the G-League or sat on the bench and clapped politely. I don’t want to say that Caruso getting to play for the whole season would have the Lakers in the playoffs right now, but I also don’t want to NOT say that. It’s one of those things, you know, we’ll just never know.
The Lonzo Ball/Alex Caruso PG tandem was about the most fun thing ever to happen in Summer League two years ago. And with Caruso’s emergence as a semi-legit NBA-level PG, I don’t see why such a tandem can’t work on the NBA level. We already know that Ball, despite his status as a “meme” player, is a winner. He just makes teams better. Caruso, it looks like, does the same thing. Add those two dudes to LeBron, and subtract Rondo forever, and you get a lot of ball-handling. Okay, maybe too much ball-handling. Subtract LeBron too. He can go back to Cleveland, because it turns out that Lakers fans don’t even want him around. So now we’re back to just our two favorite dudes. And it’s looking pretty good.
Caruso had a really nice game in this one, coming up only 10 rebounds short of a triple-double. If you take the 10 rebounds he had in the last game, that’s basically a triple-double over two games, which is still pretty good. He also almost posterized Rudy Gobert, but unless I make a “best missed dunks” season compilation, he gets no more recognition from me on that.