The Chicago Bulls, with Alex Caruso in the starting lineup, just demolished the Los Angeles Lakers that were missing LeBron James. It was AC’s homecoming and the first game against the only team he has played for before he signed up for the Bulls. The five-year veteran’s contribution to the Lakers was not lost on the organization, the home crowd and The King himself.
Right after the Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers game, LeBron James tweeted this:
“My brother forever.”
The simple but endearing message should hit home to Alex Caruso, who looked up to James as a player and as a person. The friends and former teammates were seen sharing a long hug at the start of the game.
There was already a certain buzz in the crowd even during the warmups. When the starting fives were announced, Alex Caruso was given a warm welcome by the discerning Staples Center crowd. Caruso’s former team also made a heartwarming video tribute on the big screen that was appreciated by the Lakers faithful.
After the tribute was shown, the Carushow got underway. The game against the Los Angeles Lakers was a perfect embodiment of what Alex Caruso brings to the table. He attempted only one shot - a three-point attempt and had zero points. However, his fingerprints were all over the game.
Alex Caruso’s stat line reads as 0 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. What did not show on the stat line was his hustle all over the floor and seeming endless source of energy. While the Los Angeles Lakers looked sloppy and disengaged at certain moments, AC was the exact opposite. It's not the first time this season that head coach Frank Vogel could have used someone like him.
Did the Los Angeles Lakers make the right decision to prioritize Talen Horton-Tucker over Alex Caruso?
In the offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers fundamentally chose Talen Horton-Tucker over Alex Caruso. They chose the younger player, who they thought would eventually pan out to be the better player.
THT played well against the Chicago Bulls. He finished with a team-high 28 points with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. He will probably play better as the season progresses.
Caruso’s impact, however, on the Chicago Bulls has been nothing short of eye-catching. He’s one of the league leaders in steals and deflections. The Bulls are without two of their starters, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic. Despite the makeshift and super small lineup, Billy Donovan’s team has been playing great, partly because of Caruso’s impressive play.
Time will tell if the Los Angeles Lakers made the right decision by letting go of Alex Caruso and rolling the dice with Talen Horton-Tucker.
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