COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Alex Caruso is the internet's favorite basketball player. It's impossible to log in to Twitter during the season and not see a dozen memes of the "bald mamba." All jokes aside though, the Lakers are going to need the College Station native to step up if Los Angeles is going to win the title.
The Lakers lost two of its top guards in the NBA restart, with Avery Bradley opting not to join the bubble and Rajon Rondo out with a hand injury. That paves a path for Caruso to see more minutes moving forward, and maybe even a spot in the starting lineup.
Offensively, the former Texas A&M star has shown the ability to relocate and knock down an open three when LeBron James drives, but it's his defensive ability that makes him such a valuable asset to the team.
"Caruso is a guy who does a really good job staying in front of his man and limiting dribble penetration," Gary Kestner, co-founder of LakersOutsiders.com, says. "Even if he switches, he's not a small guard. Defensively, he's going to be rock solid, he's going to rebound and do the dirty work. He makes big plays in big moments that helps teams win games.
Caruso and the Lakers play their first real game in the bubble Thursday night against the Clippers. You can watch the game at 8 pm CT on TNT.