Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso has a minor back contusion and will miss the team’s first scrimmage against the Dallas Mavericks, the team announced shortly before the game on Thursday. The good news is that Caruso’s injury is reportedly minor, and the Lakers are listing him as day-to-day moving forward.
Before the season shut down, Caruso was averaging 5.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 17.8 minutes per game off the bench. With fellow reserve Kentavious Caldwell-Pope moving into the starting lineup to replace Avery Bradley — who sat out of the NBA restart — and Rajon Rondo set to miss the next several weeks with a thumb injury, Caruso is expected to play an even larger role for the Lakers in Orlando than he had been previously. These scrimmages don’t matter, but the team will need to be careful with Caruso so that they don’t end up even more shorthanded.
Even before it was announced that Caruso would miss this scrimmage, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel had said he was planning to play all of his available players outside of Markieff Morris — who only just joined the team and cleared quarantine — in their scrimmage against the Mavericks. But with Caruso out, expect Quinn Cook, J.R. Smith, Dion Waiters and rookie Talen Horton-Tucker to all get even more opportunities to prove they deserve minutes when the games start to matter next week.
All I know for sure is that if this — combined with LeBron James and Anthony Davis only playing in the first half of tonight’s scrimmage — doesn’t mean at least 15 minutes of playing time for us to see what all the Horton-Tucker camp buzz is about, we riot.
Your move, Frank.