Los Angeles Lakers guards Alex Caruso and Danny Green suffered minor injuries in the team’s Game 3 loss to the Denver Nuggets. With the Lakers holding a slim series advantage, they’ll need to be a full strength to take a commanding 3-1 lead against a young and hungry Nuggets team.
Although neither exhibited signs of injury on Tuesday, Green played below his postseason average, getting just 20 minutes. Caruso played 25, which is right at his playoff average.
Now, as an important Game 4 looms for L.A., their two primary defensive guards are listed as probable. Caruso is dealing with a sore right wrist that Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said is leading to an MRI out of precaution.
“We expect him to play,” Vogel added.
Meanwhile, Green is nursing a left ring finger injury. “He will also be listed as probable and we expect him to play as well. He’s in there shooting right now,” Vogel said.
Given the toughness of both players, as well as the stakes for Game 4, it’s likely that the two will play unless an MRI reveals something unexpected for Caruso. He said he wasn’t certain when the injury occurred and compared it to bumping knees and pushing through that.
While Green has struggled from the field throughout the postseason, his defense has been a huge positive. The same goes for Caruso, who has proven himself to be one of the Lakers best perimeter defenders.
Either one missing a game of this magnitude would give the Nuggets an advantage in what they likely view as a must win game.
While L.A. may want to play it safe with potentially injured players as they have done all season, they sit just six wins away from an NBA championship, meaning that every game is more important than the last. Especially after a loss on Tuesday in which the team came out flat for a majority of the game.
Caruso being more aggressive during postseason
Caruso has hit another level of efficiency during the Lakers Playoff run, and it’s because he is playing with more aggression.
“I’m not shying away from showing my competitiveness, and just kind of playing how I know how to play,” he recently said. “There were spurts of that this year; I remember early in the year in Chicago, maybe in the middle of the year when we were in a bit of a lull. I’m just being more aggressive.”
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