One of the most potent 2nd units in basketball
Moving Alex Caruso into the starting lineup permanently has a far-reaching impact on the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers roster.
With a lineup of:
- C Marc Gasol
- PF Anthony Davis
- SF LeBron James
- SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- PG Alex Caruso
It is arguable that the Lakers would have one of the stronger starting lineups in all of basketball with maybe the Brooklyn Nets or Milwaukee Bucks potentially having a stronger lineup.
But it would be inarguable to say that the Los Angeles Lakers wouldn’t have probably the best bench in all of basketball if they moved Caruso into the starting lineup.
With Dennis Schröder being the runner-up for the 6th man of the year, you can safely assume that he is more than willing and able to perform at a high level in this role.
With Montrezl Harrell being the reigning 6th man of the year, you can expect that he is also very comfortable in this role.
You add two of the best bench players in the entire NBA. Stars at their role, alongside Wes Matthews and some of the Los Angeles Lakers most impactful role players from last season and you, have a 2nd unit who is going to feast on opposing teams.
A Bench unit of:
- C Montrezl Harrell- 18.6PPG
- PF Markieff Morris- 42% from the 3-point line during playoffs
- SF Kyle Kuzma- Career: 16.0PPG
- SG Wesley Matthews- 7.4PPG
- PG Dennis Schröder- 18.9PPG
That second unit would be monstrous for the purple and gold.
This bench unit would allow for the Lakers to not only maintain leads but stretch them while Anthony Davis and LeBron James are not on the floor.
This is the perfect sweet spot for the purple and gold.
The starting lineup remains as close to possible as it did last season meaning that team chemistry issues or learning how to play with another player do not become an issue.
The 2nd unit which is mostly new can learn how to play together and will still get significant minutes throughout the season.
The likes of Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell will get significant minutes to start the season with Anthony Davis and LeBron James expected to take it easy to start the year and conserve energy for the potential playoff push if and when the time comes.
If Caruso is taken out of the starting lineup and replaced by say, Wesley Matthews, it would be very easy for Caruso to fall out of the Lakers meaningful minutes rotation.
AC has been very impactful any time he plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. He gives it his everything and leaves it all out on the floor.
Rewarding that level of dedication to the team is something the purple and gold should encourage.
Caruso, if left in the starting lineup, could have a Derek Fisher-Esque role to this Los Angeles Lakers team.
A lead by example player who works hard on both ends of the floor, who is tough and not afraid of the bright lights, who isn’t an excellent playmaker but a capable one, and someone who will take the big shots if and when it is required.
If Caruso can hit the 3-point shot consistently next season, he will help himself become a valuable member of the starting line-up and will be very hard to move out of the starting 5.
Next season could be AC’s time to shine, here is hoping he gets his starting spot.