With LeBron James and Dennis Schroder both out for the Los Angeles Lakers, the starting point guard duties have fallen to Alex Caruso. The young guard hasn’t started a lot of games over the past couple of seasons as he’s primarily a key role player. That said, he’s been a very important player for the Lakers and has earned his shot to star.
When talking about Caruso, the first thing that comes to mind is his strong defensive ability. However, starting center Andre Drummond believes that the guard is a much better point guard than he’s given credit for.
“Alex is a far better point guard than people give him credit for,” Drummond said Wednesday.
“He’s a very good floor general … Alex has been a great leader for us too. He brings us all in when it comes to the huddles. He’s always in constant communication with everybody on the team. So I think making his job easier will be fun for me.”
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Drummond Offers Additional Insight on Caruso
Caruso hasn’t been put in the position very often where he needs to be a playmaker. His most valuable minutes have always been when he’s on the court with LeBron. Drummond knows that Caruso has his limitations but he’s committed to working with him so the two can thrive together.
“Obviously, he’s not a guy that’s going to break somebody off one-on-one,” Drummond said. “So getting pick and roll and having that game with him is a chemistry thing that I need to build with him.
“Just spending some time with him watching film and practice to learn where he likes his pick and rolls and when he wants them, what hand he likes to use when he goes for layups when I seal to close off that area for him. So it’s just many different variables of his game that I can help him with to make him better.”
Perhaps more than any other player on the Lakers, Drummond needs strong point guard play in order to be the most effective. He looked really good in his brief two-game stretch with LeBron back. With Schroder likely done for the regular season, it will be really important for him to build rapport with Caruso.
Caruso Thrilled to Get a Chance to Start
Caruso is slated to free agent in the offseason so this is an important stretch for him. He’s going to want to prove to the Lakers or another team that he’s worth a big contract. He knows that this is a very good chance for him to show what he can do.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Caruso said Wednesday. “This is nothing new for me in my career. Opportunity for me has always been something that presented itself and something that I’ve kind of worked toward being ready for. I’m excited to play against some of the best players in the league, night in and night out for this stretch. … I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”
Caruso has defied the odds throughout his entire career. It’s going to take some work for him to get used to the new role but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was able to thrive in the position eventually.