5. Alex Caruso
Yep, Alex Caruso is ranked as the fifth-best player on the Los Angeles Lakers, the team that is the frontrunner by a wide margin to win the NBA Championship in 2021. He is more than a meme, ladies and gentleman, and a lot of basketball fans don’t yet realize it.
Non-Laker fans probably think that Caruso is the most overrated player in the NBA and they definitely have good reason to believe that. Caruso became one of the most hyped-up players on NBA Twitter simply because he does not look like an NBA player. I understand the frustration.
However, what some non-Laker fans might not realize is that Caruso is a really good basketball player. He is not the most skilled player on the offensive side of the ball but he can be a decent-enough off-ball scorer that can cut to the rim and be consistent-enough from three.
That is not his bread and butter. His bread and butter is on the defensive side of the ball and anyone that watched the Lakers in the NBA Playoffs should know that Caruso is an elite defensive player.
Caruso is fantastic both on the ball and off the ball and has the most hustle on the team. Six players in the NBA averaged two or more deflections per game in fewer than 20 minutes per game — Caruso was one of them. Hustle.
Caruso posted a 1.53 defensive PIPM last season, the eighth-best among point guards.
Caruso has fantastic chemistry with LeBron James and he is still only 26. He will get even better in 2021.