The Los Angeles Lakers finished their road trip on a high note, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies for the second time in a row.
The Lakers have made it a habit of allowing teams to go on extended runs, and that was the case against the Grizzlies who stayed close all night. Memphis held a 10-point lead at one juncture thanks to some careless Los Angeles possessions.
But the Lakers once again rallied in the fourth quarter to secure a victory. Their current four-game winning streak has come without Alex Caruso, who has been away due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
The NBA’s recent report stated no players tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), which means it is likely Caruso came into close contact with someone who tested positive.
Head coach Frank Vogel was previously unsure of when Caruso would be able to return, but revealed he expects the guard to potentially return when the team is back home to play the San Antonio Spurs. “I think he’s going to be available,” Vogel said.
“He’s been getting individual workouts. I think he began [Monday], maybe [three] days ago, in terms of being able to do 1-on-0 workouts. Has been doing those and we’ll have to see how he’s feeling. We don’t want to throw a guy in there that isn’t ready if he’s been out and not able to do too much. We’re hopeful to have him available for our next game when we get back.”
This is good news for Vogel and the Lakers as the defensive intensity comes and goes in the middle of games, but that should remain steadier with Caruso in the lineup. The point guard has a knack for energizing the team with his play on that end, but it will be interesting to see how much time Vogel gives him in his first game back.
Vogel details Lakers experience on the road during 2020-21 season so far
Road trips are different this season in that teams are spending more days in a single city to play back-to-back games against the same opponent.
“Honestly, for us it’s almost like we’re in the bubble,” Vogel explained. “You go to work, you do your job, you come back to the hotel and you don’t do much else, except for the team meal rooms and stuff. It’s for that reason.
“Anybody can get this at any time, so you just try to stay as safe as possible. Both from the standpoint of staying away from the virus but also staying away from potential quarantines. The more you follow the rules, the more you stay away from potentially close contact exposure situations and the better chance you have to keep doing your job and stay able to contribute.”
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