While the rest of the starting lineup seems to be set heading into the regular season, the point guard position seems to be up for grabs. With Avery Bradley, Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook, and Rajon Rondo all vying for starting minutes, it seems to be a close race in which head coach Frank Vogel is unwilling to tip his hand.
Lakers Lineup & Roster: Avery Bradley Headlines top Starting PG Options
Avery Bradley has made an extremely strong case to lock down the starting role on the back of some solid defensive performances. Though he had been struggling with his shot in the preseason so far, he came alive in Wednesday’s game against the Warriors, knocking down four of five three-pointers and showcasing exactly why he is the perfect off-ball fit next to LeBron James.
With James soaking up the majority of the playmaking duties, Bradley isn’t necessarily needed to bring the ball up and facilitate the offense. Instead, he brings the most value to the team as a spot-up shooter on offense and a defensive pest to the opposing ballcarrier. By far the best defender of the bunch, Bradley seems to have a leg up on the competition due to head coach Frank Vogel’s defensive tendencies.
On the back of his big shooting night against Golden State, it seems most likely that Bradley winds up getting the reps to start the season.
Lakers Lineup & Roster: Alex Caruso Among top Starting PG Options
While Caruso doesn’t have the defensive chops that Bradley does, he might just be the most well-rounded player of the bunch. With a proven track record of success playing alongside LeBron as well as the ability to take over and facilitate the offense, Caruso has a diverse set of skills that make him an appealing fit next to James.
Deceptively athletic with solid handles and a good shot, Caruso could help take some of the playmaking burden off James without infringing on him running the offense all too much. Though not Bradley defensively, Caruso can more than hold his own and is by far one of the most underrated defenders on the Lakers’ roster.
Caruso won’t be expected to be in the starting lineup as the season kicks off though he should get every opportunity to work his way in as the season goes on.
Lakers Lineup & Roster: Quinn Cook Rounds out top Starting PG Options
Making his Lakers’ debut last night against the Warriors, Quinn Cook threw a wrench into the Lakers’ plans for the position. Brought in with the expectation of being a shooting specialist off the bench, Cook played great on both ends of the floor, piling up 16 points in only 15 minutes. His shooting is clearly a level above anyone else the Lakers have at the position and should he prove that his defensive performance against a hobbled Warriors team wasn’t a fluke, he could be an excellent fit in the starting lineup.
Similar to Bradley and Caruso, Cook doesn’t necessarily need the ball in his hands to be effective, despite playing point guard. A lethal spot-up shooter, Cook would get a number of wide-open looks playing alongside LeBron. Though Bradley and Caruso offer more defensive upside, the offensive output that Cook brings to the table is tough to match.
His defensive performance should be the key as to if he winds up in the starting lineup or continues to be used as a shooting specialist off the bench.