Alex Caruso may not be the linchpin who leads the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship, but he’s certainly won over the hearts and minds of the team’s fan base. “The Bald Eagle” may not be averaging as many points this season as he did last season, but it’s become abundantly clear that he’s an important member of the team. LeBron James had some very high praise for the young guard.
“Pretty much every time he’s in the game he’s a plus guy. He just does so much,” James said on Tuesday, via Ben Golliver. “Sometimes it shows up in the box score, sometimes it don’t, but he’s just always a plus guy. He’s going to defend at a high level, he’s going to get guys involved. He’s very smart, very tough. To have him on this ball club, it’s a luxury.”
Thanks to his versatility, Caruso has become a fan favorite. Headband or not, the young Laker is and an unlikely star.
Frank Vogel Praises Caruso
LeBron isn’t the only member of the Lakers who is high on Caruso. The team overhauled much of the roster this past offseason and Caruso was one of the few players who was brought back. Head coach Frank Vogel also had some kind words for Caruso.
”He’s a jack of all trades,” Vogel said, via Silver Screen and Roll. “We’ve been playing him at the wing, as a defensive specialist, he can handle the point… He’s just an invaluable piece of our success this year for the variety of ways we can use him.
“He just has great value because of the versatility that he has to his game.”
The Lakers have plenty of offensive firepower, so his defensive contributions are very important for the team’s success. Considering the Clippers are one of the most impressive defensive teams in the NBA, the Lakers are going to need to play some strong defense, as well, if they’re going to beat them on the way to the NBA Finals.
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Lebron Sounds off on Bigs Shooting 3s
LeBron didn’t stop the praising with just Caruso. He also took the time to show his big men some love. Just less than a decade ago, it was unheard of for centers to shoot threes. However, it’s become common for the big men to be able to knock down an occasional three. The Lakers’ big men haven’t done it much, but LeBron commended them for how well they’ve done it so far this season.
“I enjoy when they take them: when we’re up big in the fourth quarter… Our bigs collectively this season are 5-8 from the three-point line. They’ve got a hell of a percentage. That’s their reward for battling.”
That’s a very good percentage for the team’s centers. Like LeBron said, they don’t always come at the more important times, but it’s good to know that they can knock down a three if they need to.