Los Angeles Lakers: Why Alex Caruso must start for the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Alex Caruso (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers Alex Caruso (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

If the Los Angeles Lakers want any certainty to win Game-4, Alex Caruso should be promoted to starter.

While the Los Angeles Lakers got scared by a Game 1 loss, they bounced back and went up 2-1 in the following two games. As they look to take a commanding 3-1 lead, they need to make some adjustments to be as sure as possible it happens.

In every game, the pattern has been the same. The Blazers feed off a strong first quarter by Damian Lillard, taking an early lead. The Lakers spent then the following quarters trying to recover. If it is the case they finish with the win. Otherwise, when difficult to respond and find the way to the basket, as happened in Game 1, the loss is around the corner.

It is not a case that Lillard scores most of his points in the first quarter, while turns down through the rest of the game. The reason is called Alex Caruso.

Caruso, coming off the bench, always receives the defensive assignment on the white-hot point guard and has made a terrific job so far.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has struggled to slow him down and Lillard has prompted his team to take the lead in the first quarter of every game. For Game 4 Frank Vogel better change his rotations and start Caruso in order to defend Dame from the beginning and prevent the Blazers from taking a potentially lethal early lead.

While Caldwell-Pope has found his rhythm on offense after an awful Game 1, Danny Green has been equally ineffective on defense and his offense has not been in any way better.

Then, moving Green to the bench and replace him with Caruso would not be a problem, rather the right move. If needed, he also should play major minutes like a star. It is no secret that limiting Lillard is the key to beat the Blazers, and close the series as fast as possible is fundamental.

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It would be really dangerous to prolong it too much and bring it to Game 7, against the hottest team in the bubble.