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Alex Caruso is already a favorite of Los Angeles Lakers, but added a new title to his resume on Wednesday after head coach Frank Vogel called it “a secret weapon”.
ESPN Los Angeles provided the soundbite:
“Alex is our secret weapon,” said Vogel. “Come in and usually provide a spark from the bench.”
“I burst him when I need him”, he added.
Observations came after the Lakers’ 120-116 extraordinary victory over the Denver Nuggets. Caruso scored 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in the win. He played the last 4:16 of the regulation and all overtime.
The third-year guard’s efforts helped the 41-12 Lakers reach their third consecutive win and fifth win in sixth attempts. It was a crucial game for Purple and Gold as it extended their lead over the Nuggets to second place in four games in the Western Conference.
THERE. is in a privileged position to take on seed no. 1 in the Western Conference playoffs heading for the All-Star break, but Caruso may see more field time on the other side.
Ralph Mason provided another quote from Vogel that came after a question from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
Caruso averaged 18.2 minutes per game after Wednesday.
Sometimes it went pretty well when he was given further opportunities, with a 16 point performance and four assists in a 142-125 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 8, serving as an example. Caruso also scored 10 points and closed a 99-97 victory over the Sacramento Kings on November 15th.
On the flip side, more time in Caruso could mean fewer minutes for Rajon Rondo, who only saw 14 on Wednesday. The veteran piano general has played 14 to 27 minutes in his last 11 games.
Lakers fans should see more of Caruso in person soon if his playing time increases, as eight of the team’s 12 games immediately following the All-Star break are at home.
The second half begins with a game on Friday 21 February against the Memphis Grizzlies.