The Los Angeles Lakers will play two more preparatory games against the Golden State Warriors against the LA Clippers at the Staples Center before their regular season opener on Tuesday, October 22. The first of their last two matchups with the Warriors will take place in LA on Wednesday.
While these show games mean nothing in the win and loss column, there are still a handful of Lakers who would benefit if they get going before the games start counting, including but not limited to Alex Caruso.
When he went to training camp, there was hope that Caruso would establish himself as the clearest option of the team at the Point Guard and head coach Frank Vogel. There is nothing left for him but for the veterans of the team like Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.
While Caruso has had more influence on the box score than Bradley and Rondo, it's not because he was much better. In the preseason Caruso scored an average of eight points per game in four games, although he scored 41
His box plus minus (+2.8). Caruso also has a better net score than his Point Guard rival due to his defensive rating (91.8). Bradley scored a better defensive rating (91), but his team offensive rating of 77.9 dropped his overall net score to -13.
In other words, all Caruso has to do is to take his shots to separate himself from the rest of the pack. The only problem is that Vogel has not put him in the best position so far.
Caruso is technically a point guard, but he's in good shape when he plays ball. So far Caruso has been tasked with leading the second unit and creating his own offensive from pick-and-roll situations – something in which he is not very good.
So far, 40 percent of Caruso's possessions this season have been called Pnr Ball Handler, which according to synergy and eye test is an area where he has problems. He is currently 1-11 in his attempts to get out of these properties and is still being blocked by walls.
– Alex Regla (@AlexmRegla) October 14, 2019
To maximize Caruso's potential, Vogel must play with him playmakers who can reward his off-ball movement such as Rondo or LeBron James. Otherwise, he will continue to fight offensively, which could affect his chances of seeing significant minutes in the regular season.
Hopefully, Caruso will aggressively show signs of life against the Warriors on Wednesday. The start is at 19:30. PST and will air on Spectrum Sportsnet.
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