The Los Angeles Lakers had a number of chances to tie the game or take the lead down the stretch of their loss to the Miami Heat. The last of those came in the hands of Alex Caruso, who found himself with the ball after a pass from LeBron James.
Caruso was unable to knock down the shot at the buzzer and the Lakers fell to Miami, 96-94.
Down two points, James was able to steal the inbounds pass and give the Lakers one last chance. Caruso came to set a screen for James, likely looking to create a mismatch, but instead his man chose to trap as Miami was intent on not letting the Lakers’ lone remaining superstar beat them.
“I brought it down, three guys on the left, saw ‘Bron on the right, tried to set it up and give it to him and then get out of his way,” Caruso explained. “I think I accidentally brought in extra help instead of cutting to the opposite side.
“He made the right play with two guys on him. I was probably caught a little off guard because I was expecting them to stay with me and go 1-on-1 with ‘Bron, so I was a little late to get ready. I missed the shot short.”
It is a tough situation to put Caruso in as he has never been a major offensive threat. However, he is shooting over 40% from 3-point range this season which is a major improvement. Caruso nonetheless is not the first option that the team would want with the ball in that situation.
But with time ticking down, Caruso has to be more prepared for anything that can happen as the opposition is always going to be looking to force the ball out of James’ hands.
Despite the outcome, James also defended the play, with his only issue being Caruso not launching from behind the arc. “My intentions when I came off that [dribble handoff] was to let it go. If they would’ve guarded me 1-on-1 and Jimmy would’ve stayed back or Olynyk didn’t fight over the screen,” James said.
“We had a great look to tie the game and send it to overtime. I think the only bad thing about it was he shot a long two. I wish he would’ve shot a three, and make or miss, I live with that. But other than that it was a good look.”
Caruso signs shoe contract with ANTA
Caruso remains one of the most popular players on the Lakers roster and that has shown itself in a number of different ways. One being the All-Star fan votes he receives every year. And now Caruso has taken another step towards stardom as he has signed a shoe deal with ANTA.
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