After taking an elbow to the head from Mo Bamba in the first half of Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic, Alex Caruso underwent a concussion evaluation and the results were inconclusive, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, per Oram.
Caruso was limited to just 3:57 due to his injury. He ended his night with 0 points on 0-2 shooting from the field, 1 block, 1 steals and 1 turnover.
With Caruso ruled out for the remainder of the game, Quinn Cook and Troy Daniels saw more playing time than usual and they made the most of their opportunity, combining for 39 points on 15-23 shooting from the field. Cook led the Lakers in scoring with a season-high 22 points.
However, they couldn’t replicate what Caruso brings on the defensive end, mostly because few players at the point guard position can. Caruso ranks first among all guards in Defensive Real Plus-Minus, according to ESPN, and was ranked second the league in defensive rating going into Wednesday night’s game.
Still, Cook and Daniels played well enough to warrant a bigger role if Caruso misses time and even if he doesn’t, they probably shouldn’t be DNP-CDs. No, they don’t exactly fit into the team’s defensive reputation, but their ability to get hot in a hurry can be valuable and Wednesday’s game was the perfect example of that.
The Lakers will be hoping to have their guard rotation is at full strength by Saturday, when they’ll face off against a pair elite guards in James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The following game against Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown will be tough, too.