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Lakers coach Frank Vogel declares Alex Caruso is his ‘secret weapon’

Lakers, Alex Caruso

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel revealed his unlikely secret weapon during a conversation with Allen Sliwa of ESPN’s Lakers Talk. Despite boasting key figures off the bench like Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers helmsman turned to an unlikely suspect as his X-factor — Alex Caruso.

“He’s my secret weapon,” Vogel said of Caruso. “I break him out when I need him.”

Caruso’s numbers might not be all that impressive at first glance, but he’s a spark plug off the bench for the Lakers, especially when it comes to lifting a team’s spirit.

The 25-year-old is everything players want in a teammate — enthusiastic, a team-first type of player, and a scrappy cog willing to make the most out of every possession.

His averages of 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists are hardly notable, but he has managed to average a steal a game despite playing only 18.2 minutes per contest. His gritty effort and cult status earned him fourth place among Western Conference guards in All-Star fan voting, even with those paltry numbers.

Caruso might be third on the point guard depth chart behind LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, with Quinn Cook also in the mix, but he’s the energizer bunny that gives the Lakers that extra jolt of punch they need to get ahead or put the final nail in the coffin.

Alex Caruso’s scoring and defense might not be primordial for the team, but Vogel knows he can count on this spark plug when his team needs a change in attitude or a face that can turn things around, even if it is a fairly small contribution.