first_imgIn 106 career G League games, Caruso averages six assists. He’s the playmaker with the ball in his hands, the director of an offense. But on a team with Rondo and LeBron James, he won’t do much directing.So Caruso has learned to adapt: He becomes more of a catch-and-shoot threat, or cuts to the basket. Being the guy in charge helps him understand where he needs to be as a supporting player.“I kind of have the same vision,” he said. “Obviously I’m not comparing myself to those two guys, but I know where the openings are.”Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers While the Lakers are leaning on their bench more than ever, Caruso has earned a bigger role through his play as well: In the last six games, he’s the Lakers’ fourth-leading scorer (11.7 ppg) and has made 6 of 11 from 3-point range. His efficiency makes him a threat, and his hustle wins him respect among his teammates.Even though the Lakers have been losing lately, Caruso said he’s not about to sacrifice his body any less.“Pain goes away a little when you win but that’s just kind of basketball – that’s how I play,” he said. “Today just happened to be a little more physical than most. Always hope you come out  with a win, but you do it every game. And that’s kind of my job.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I felt worse before,” he said. That’s just kind of how the game goes. I don’t think it’s intentional, it’s just my face happened to be where his elbow was. Connected.”The many bumps sting a little more after losses like the 124-123 defeat the Lakers took to the Knicks. Caruso was unquestionably a bright spot, as he’s been throughout this unfortunate post-playoff-race stretch.He finished with 12 points, five steals, three blocks – and more bruises than he could count.“I said a joke, I thought he was going to have to leave in an ambulance today,” teammate Rajon Rondo said. “He takes a lot of falls, but it’s how he plays the game. He plays hard, and you want a guy like that on your team.”The more interesting part of Caruso’s game is not that he plays with one level of intensity, which is high, but he wears different hats depending on who he’s playing with. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs NEW YORK – It was supposed to be a basketball game at Madison Square Garden – not a fight.Tell that to Alex Caruso’s jaw.The shot the second-year guard took from Allonzo Trier’s elbow was one of many bruises he acquired on Sunday afternoon, sprawling out while taking charges and trying to finish around the likes of DeAndre Jordan. But he kept getting up – a spirit that has been in short supply during a challenging Lakers season.He evaluated his wounds afterward with a characteristic nonchalance. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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