Coming into the 2019-20 NBA season, there are a ton of questions surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers both as a team and individually.
One player who will be closely watched is Alex Caruso, who captured the hearts of Lakers fans everywhere during his outstanding run down the stretch of last season and earned a two-year, $5.5 million deal.
Caruso developed well under a two-way deal with the South Bay Lakers, but now will have to prove that his play last season wasn’t a fluke. He has intriguing tools as a 6’5″ point guard who can defend, create, and shoot relatively well, but the pressure will be on.
This was by far the most important offseason in Caruso’s young career and he worked hard to continue to develop his all-around game this summer.
“The crazy thing about that is I don’t think there was anything… there was nothing concrete in the game that I think really needed to add,” Caruso noted during 2019 Lakers Media Day.
“I think it was just about developing, just continuing to improve on the things that I was already doing well. Make good decisions as a point guard, being able to decipher whether it’s to run the team or be aggressive in transition and push the pace, continue to shoot the ball really well.”
Caruso’s shooting is what really leaped in his second season as he knocked down 48% from three-point range. Obviously, that number is unsustainable, but he knows that remaining consistent will be key.
“That was one thing at the end of the year. I didn’t realize it until during the summer when people kind of pointed it out,” Caruso said.
“The statistical three-point percentage or whatever it was, plus/minus stuff, that was all really good. But it was really just me and the rhythm of the game, me just being comfortable. So I think for me, it’s just about continuing to stay consistent with the things I did at the end of last year because I think if I can do those things for 82 games plus, I think I’ll be in a good position to help this team win.”
Caruso can definitely help the Lakers but as he noted, it’s now about doing it over 82 games and more.
He played in just 25 games last season and it was in the last few where he really made his case. Now, it’s time to prove the Lakers made the right decision in signing him.