Finally off a two-way deal and a full-fledged member of the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster, Alex Caruso is ready to prove to the world his late-season stretch of incredible play wasn’t a fluke. Caruso shot a blistering 48% from deep while averaging 17.2 points, 8.4 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game over the Lakers’ five April games to close out the season.
Lakers’ Alex Caruso Undergoes Epic Offseason Body Transformation
While not in bad shape by any means in previous years, Caruso was far from the sturdiest guard despite his solid 6’5″ frame. However, it seems Caruso has made a dedicated effort to improve his strength and conditioning, which should help tremendously as he battles through an 82 game season on an NBA roster for the first time.
Checking in with some pictures of him looking absolutely shredded, it should be interesting to see first and foremost how the Lakers plan to use Caruso but also to get an indication for how his offseason workouts have benefited his game. Aside from helping him navigate a longer season, Caruso’s added strength should help tremendously in allowing him to get to the basket and finish through contact with more ease.
Already a deceptively excellent athlete, the added strength could help make Caruso one of the team’s best athletes and could put him in a position to greatly expand his role over the course of the season. While the Lakers have Rajon Rondo and Quinn Cook capable of running the point, the expected starter is currently unknown and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to think that Caruso could possibly take over the role at some point this season on the back of some strong play.
Kyle Kuzma Catches Fire in USA Basketball Exhibition
In other Lakers news, forward Kyle Kuzma had an excellent showing in USA Basketball’s latest scrimmage against Australia. Going 4-5 from deep and showing some drastically improved defense, Kuzma looks to be poised for a breakout season with the Lakers. Kuzma altered his shot in the offseason to remove extraneous motion and quicken his release – both seem to be paying major dividends for the forward in our limited showing.
Defensively, Kuzma seems to be much more engaged and did an excellent job of shutting down Australia’s pick and roll attempts. While he still had some defensive lapses throughout the game, on the whole, Kuzma looked to be a much more solid defender compared to last year. With (hopefully) a few more weeks left playing and learning under defensive wizard Gregg Popovich, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to see Kuzma improve slightly more on that side of the ball.
Especially in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins injury, Kuzma’s ability to emerge as a third option for the Lakers becomes all that more important. Expected to have a major role either in the starting lineup or off the bench, a large part of the Lakers’ success as a team this year could boil down to if Kuzma is capable of taking the next step as a player – which it certainly looks like he is.