Alex Caruso is an interesting player. He specializes in defense and operations as a secondary playmaker, but he is not a great ball-handler or shooter, which makes it difficult to build an offense around him. Perhaps that’s why he went unopposed in 2016.
However, in the right position, Caruso can shine as a role player, and there is certainly no better position for him than the Lakers, where he gets a chance to play LeBron James. Unlike Caruso, James works prominently with the ball in his hands, and when James has the ball, he looks to reward his teammates who make the right plays, whether it’s setting the screen Be it cutting the basket or open for shot. This is where Karuso comes in.
According to stats.nb.com, the two-man lineup of LeBron James and Alex Caruso posted a net rating of +16.1 in 233 minutes simultaneously. The only two-man lineups that have a high net rating on the Lakers (minimum 200 minutes played) are LeBron James and Danny Green and Anthony Davis and Danny Green.
So James was not initially aware that when Caruso was signed with the Lakers, their pairing has been a revelation for the team this season. During a recent interview with Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal, James talked about how he believes he and Caruso have been so successful together:
“We’re one and the same when it comes to winning basketball,” James said. “To see our chemistry together … I think it comes to our mind.”
When you think of players who are on the same level as James when it comes to basketball IQ, you usually think of players like Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul, not Alex Caruso – At least not initially. But James quickly realizes an affair with Caruso, and he thinks the connection will only get better as Caruso grows as a player.
“I think Alex Caruso is the true definition when given the opportunity,” James said after the Lakers’ Western Conference final-clinching win over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. “He has been preparing for this moment for a long time and all he needs is a chance. Luke [Walton] Last year gave him a chance, and now Coach Vogel and our coaching staff are giving him a chance on a bigger stage. He is taking full advantage of it.
“He’s just better and better. Every single minute he’s on the floor,” James said. “(And) he is still learning. Every game is still a learning experience for him because he is very new to the NBA. He played many of his minutes in his early years in the G League. But the first time I saw him , And seeing him in some of our practices, it wasn’t cowardice. It was the way he defended and how much cerebral game he played. “
Those qualities led to a quick and easy relationship between them.
He said, “I immediately draw attention to such players, because the game, everyone talks about the physical side, and how high you can jump and how fast you can run. But the mental side. That’s what takes you to the next level. “I watched from AC and he continued to learn. He’s been very good to us.”
Caruso still has a few things he can work on that would make him a better fit next to James, including but not limited to just his 3-point shot, but he feels that The star has respect and trust, which is something he probably didn’t even expect to go through the season.
Caruso and James may not be the most obvious pairings, but they work well together, such as ketchup and scrambled eggs. Don’t knock it until you try it
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