And just like that, the Lakers are down to their last true point guard.
Rajon Rondo’s injury could not have come at a worse time for an already ailing Lakers backcourt, one that saw Avery Bradley end his season due to family concerns. As of Monday, Quinn Cook became the only point guard on the roster, although positions have become more or less interchangeable in recent years. But seeing as how Cook barely saw playing time as the season went on, Alex Caruso becomes the heir apparent to the starting role.
This season has been a coming-out party for Caruso as he has become a social media sensation for his putback dunks and his incredible connection with LeBron James. But even with all of this, his role has been limited in large part to the contributions of Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo. While there is still reason to believe that Rondo could recover in time to help in the playoffs, this leaves a huge opportunity for Caruso to build his case to be the starting point guard of the future.
Having a connection with LeBron is one thing, but it is an entirely different task to be the team’s main guard. Avery Bradley earned that honor this season by being able to play both ways: being an offensive threat when necessary while being an absolute pest on defense. These are both things that Caruso is capable of doing, but he has not had a real chance to show that he can do it consistently.
I fully expect these next six to eight weeks to be the true coming-out party for Alex Caruso, a chance to prove what he can do while the whole world watches. While the games early on in Orlando won’t carry much weight as far as the standings go, they will go a long way in securing a spot on this team for years to come if he can take advantage.
We’re about to witness the Caru-show with the restraints taken off, and I can’t wait to see what happens!