And while Caruso’s looks may be deceiving, it’s obvious why he’s consistently successful on the court.
No matter what, Caruso is always making the right play. Whether it’s picking up a tough defensive assignment, making the perfect cut, or setting the perfect screen, Caruso knows exactly what he needs to do one the court and does it. It’s very similar to the mindset James has on the court and the two have incredible success because of it.
Caruso and James share the floor for an average of nine minutes a game. In that time, the Lakers have a net rating of 23.4, which is the highest of any two-man combination that’s shared at least 250 minutes together during the 2019-20 NBA season.
And James recognizes why he and Caruso work well together. “Just playing the game the right way. Very cerebral basketball players. We’re making winning plays — both of us.”
“We work well together and every minute we’re on the floor, we’re just trying to make it productive,” James said of him and Caruso. “Trying to be in the plus and not the minus. It’s a great combination for our ball club.”
Caruso also shares this sentiment about playing with James.
“I just do a really good job of playing off of him. I think one of my biggest strengths is recognizing defensive assignments when we can attack and with LeBron, he draws so much attention that a lot of times there’s a guy on the other team thats not paying attention and we take advantage of that,” Caruso said.
“Once we do that, people are going to realize that and free up LeBron. So I think just for me… being a smart player and LeBron is obviously very easy to play with. He’s LeBron James.”
Caruso shows just how intelligent he is when he speaks about the game of basketball, and it’s those types of players that James absolutely loves playing with. It’s why James has — on several occasions — referred to Caruso as the G.O.A.T.
This is a combination that hasn’t seen a ton of time on the floor together. However, knowing that it’s a successful combination will be huge when the 2020 NBA playoffs come.