While the Los Angeles Lakers are still one of the favorites to win this year’s title, several players are expected to step up for the team such as Alex Caruso. Scrimmage games inside the bubble have started and the Lakers are looking to take advantage of their first match against the Dallas Mavericks.
The weight Caruso carries has become heavier with Avery Bradley not playing in the modified season. To add to these, the recent injury of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo takes a blow to the Lakers backcourt. The former All-Star guard not suiting up for the games may remove some of the playmaking but it isn’t quite a major concern given that Caruso is ready for the additional minutes.
The Lakers remain as one of the predicted finalists for this year’s championship with how the addition of All-Star big man Anthony Davis has made all the difference this season. The duo of Davis and LeBron James is considered one of the more dominant combinations in the league.
For LeBron, he is cooking up another MVP caliber season with averages of 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.6 assists per outing. This is coupled with Davis’ 26.7 points and 9.4 boards a night. It’s vital that these stars get the support needed if they want to make a deep playoff run.
The scrimmage games are expected to provide the teams a good way to warm up before resuming the sanctioned games. It would be the perfect opportunity for players such as Caruso to prove that they’re ready for the bigger role bestowed upon them.
Per Lake Show Life, the Lakers can use their matchup against the Mavericks to benchmark how well Caruso can fare defensively. With elite opponents such as Luka Doncic, Caruso can show exactly why fans have hailed him as one of their favorites. Boasting a defensive box plus-minus of 2.4, Caruso brings more than just highlight dunks to the team.
To add to these, Caruso has been consistent overall enough that he can also be trusted with point guard duties for the Lakers. Having Caruso in a bigger role will be crucial for the Lakers given how he’s already developed chemistry playing alongside Davis and LeBron. The absence of Rondo and Bradley will be well covered by Caruso and the other members of the bench if the coaching staff provides them with more opportunities.
The Lakers are looking to win it all in the current season and they’re hoping to develop their current team to strengthen their chances in succeeding years. The upcoming scrimmage against the Mavericks will be a good test on how the team will fare in the crucial games played in the bubble.