Los Angeles Lakers: Why Alex Caruso should be in the starting lineup

Alex Caruso, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Alex Caruso, Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Alex Caruso’s Defense

The Los Angeles Lakers, as a team, prioritized one thing above all else last season.


Building a defensive identity was incredibly important to what the Lakers wanted to achieve.

A defense that was spearheaded by Anthony Davis led the Lakers to the NBA title and led to the Lakers locking up some incredibly difficult competition along the way.

  • 1st Round: Portland Trailblazers. Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and co: Lakers won 4-1
  • 2nd Round: Houston Rockets. James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and co: Lakers won 4-1
  • Western Conference Finals: Denver Nuggets. Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and co: Lakers won 4-1
  • NBA Finals: Miami Heat. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, and co. Lakers won 4-2

A dominant display throughout the playoffs that was built around the Los Angeles Laker’s ability to lock down opposing team’s best players and force them into taking difficult shots.

Some of the players who have left the Lakers this summer in Danny Green, Dwight Howard, and Avery Bradley were heavily involved in the purple and gold’s defensive efforts over the course of the season and will be sorely missed from a defensive standpoint.

The Lakers have done an outstanding job replacing the departed players.

Marc Gasol for Dwight Howard and Wesley Matthews Jr for Danny Green but they have not replaced the defensive intensity that Avery Bradley brought to the floor each and every night.

This late into free agency it might be near impossible to find a player who is able to help out to the same level as Bradley did on the defensive end.

Or do they already have a player in Alex Caruso on the roster who can step in and do as good of a job as Bradley did on the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers last season?

A line-up that included Alex Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis had a +/- of  +12.5.

Adding Marc Gasol to the mix alongside the above lineup could lead to an even higher +/- for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Vogel prioritizes defense and this is potentially one of the strongest defensive and balanced starting lineups the Los Angeles Lakers can field next season.