For the last four games, the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had Alex Caruso available due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, and they’ve won’t have him again when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. However, once they return from their road trip, Caruso could re-join the team for the first time since Dec. 27.
Before tip-off on Tuesday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel gave an update on the 26-year-old point guard’s status, and he sounded optimistic that Caruso will be on the bench for their next game.
“I think he’s going to be available. He’s been getting individual workouts in,” Vogel said, clarifying that Caruso’s practices have only been 1-on-0 so far. “We’re hopeful. We’ll have to see how he’s feeling. You don’t want to throw a guy in there that isn’t ready, he’s been out not able to do too much, but we’re hopeful to have him there for our next game when we get back.”
According to Vogel, Caruso has been working out in Los Angeles for the last two days. Caruso didn’t travel with the Lakers to San Antonio on Dec. 29, and he didn’t make the trip to Memphis either.
With the amount of talent the Lakers have at both guard positions this season, Caruso’s extended absence hasn’t been felt nearly as much as it would have last year. However, there’s no denying that the Lakers are a better team with Caruso on the floor.
In the 41 minutes he played this season, the Lakers posted a point differential of +14.2, according to Cleaning the Glass. That’s a small sample size, but it’s consistent with what he showed last season, when he posted the highest net rating (+9.8) on the team.
Vogel also provided an update on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who missed Sunday night’s game with a mild ankle sprain. Caldwell-Pope won’t be available on Tuesday, but he’ll be day-to-day going forward.
The Lakers and Grizzlies will tip-off at 5 p.m. PT on Spectrum SportsNet locally, and NBA TV nationally.