The LA Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 123-110 at Staples Center in a potential preview of a post-season matchup between the two sides. The Purple and Gold are currently seventh and favorites to win the play-in tournament game against the Golden State Warriors, who are ranked 8th at the moment.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns still hold the second spot in the Western Conference despite their loss on Sunday night.
Anthony Davis (42 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Alex Caruso (17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals) delivered all-round performances to help the LA Lakers snap a two-game skid.
LA Lakers head coach Frank Vogel endorses Alex Caruso for All-NBA defensive team nomination
Alex Caruso has been huge in the absence of Dennis Schroder, starting in five straight games for the LA Lakers as the German continues to abide by the league’s health and safety protocol.
The last two games, in particular, have been among Caruso’s best displays this season. He scored 18 points in the loss against the Portland Trail Blazers and carried that form into the game against the Suns, tallying 17 points, 8 rebounds, and three steals.
LA Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was impressed by the guard and made a bold statement in the post-match interview, saying Caruso deserves to be in the reckoning for the NBA All-Defensive Team.
Despite playing for the LA Lakers’ second unit for most of the season, Alex Caruso has been the team’s best defensive player with a rating of 102.2. He ranks third behind DPOY candidate Rudy Gobert and veteran Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz.
Frank Vogel has been highly supportive of his players in the past concerning the NBA’s individual awards and All-NBA Team selections. Before talisman LeBron James was injured, Vogel had claimed that his star player should be the league MVP in March.
Despite the LA Lakers’ head coach’s endorsement of Alex Caruso, the fact that the guard has averaged 20 minutes a game could keep him out of any conversation surrounding the All-NBA Defensive team.