Los Angeles Lakers reserve point guard Alex Caruso had quite the weekend planned. With the G League playoffs starting, Caruso was set to play three games in three days, Friday and Sunday with the Lakers, with a trip to Oklahoma City in between to play in the South Bay Lakers’ playoff game.
Game one was a personal success as Caruso finished with six points and six assists, leading the Lakers’ second unit that erased a 20-point Milwaukee Bucks lead, though they ultimately came up short in overtime.
Caruso wound up playing 31 minutes off the bench for the Lakers, and though hopping on a plane for another game before coming back to Los Angeles was a pretty daunting task, Caruso sounded up to it.
“At the end of the day I wouldn’t trade this for anything,” he said in the locker room Friday night. “Playing basketball is my first joy and love. To do three games in three days, I’m getting paid to do it. It’s my job so I’ve got to show up ready to go.”
Plans have apparently changed, however, as according to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Caruso remained with the Lakers and did not make the trip for South Bay’s playoff game:
Alex Caruso did not go to Oklahoma City for today’s G-League playoff game after playing almost 31 mins last night for the Lakers.
Caruso could play heavy minutes again Sunday for Lakers vs. Sacramento.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) March 31, 2018
As Bresnahan notes, Caruso could again be in line for a lot of minutes on Sunday. Lonzo Ball missed Friday’s contest with a knee contusion and is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Additionally, Brandon Ingram was entered into the NBA’s concussion protocol and won’t play.
Caruso came out of nowhere to earn a two-way contract with his performance during Summer League and he has been the Lakers’ most consistent backup point guard option through much of the season.
He is willing to do whatever the Lakers ask which is great to see. With the Lakers’ depth continuing to be hurt by injury, Caruso now looks like a vital part of the rotation for at least the time being.
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