The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been able to get much shooting from their guards in the NBA Finals. In fact, through the first three games, there’s only one Lakers guard that has shot above 35% from 3-point range on at least 10 attempts: Alex Caruso.
Caruso struggled from behind the 3-point line at the start of the postseason, making just 11 of his 50 3-point attempts in the first three rounds, but he’s having more success in the Finals, as he’s converted four of his 10 3-point attempts. It’s a small sample size, but that consistency has inspired Caruso at the right time.
“I’m as confident as ever in my shot,” Caruso said during his media availability on Monday. “For the other guys, you know, I know they’re better shooters than I am, and I know they’re not going to stop shooting. It’s just about staying with the work, preparing before the shot, and being ready to shoot in the game.
“We know the ball is going to be swung our way. It’s just about being ready and stepping up and shooting it.”
Caruso’s been getting it done on the defensive end too, as per usual. In the Finals, the Lakers have posted a defensive rating of 107.7 with Caruso on the floor. That’s considerably worse than the 103.7 defensive rating he’s posted in the playoffs overall, but it’s still better than the 118.5 defensive rating they’ve posted when he’s been on the bench.
Caruso will be looking to carry that combination of defense and 3-point shooting into Game 4, where the Lakers will try to bounce back from their 115-104 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday.
“It’s kind of already out of my mind today how we didn’t perform at our best,” Caruso said. “It’s just mainly now about watching the film and getting back to where we know how we can play. We’re a championship-level team and I don’t think we played like that in Game 3. Give credit to the Heat. They played well. They played desperate, they played with a high sense of urgency and played like they were trying to compete in the NBA Finals.”
“It’s up to us to correct our mistakes, get back, and then have the confidence that we know we’re a good team.”
The Lakers and Heat will tip-off on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT, on ABC.