Alex Caruso is the NBA's best kept secret, or at least it did at the start of the season. However, over time, Caruso has shown how he can make a difference in the right role, and people are starting to notice, including Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.
Vogel has given Caruso a fair amount of playing time this season (18.2 minutes per game), but the general consensus among Lakers fans is that Caruso's share of the guards' rotation minutes should be more.
Although Vogel was not opposed to giving Caruso more playing time, he told reporters that he liked having an ace up his sleeve at Caruso (via Spectrum SportsNet):
" It is possible [his role] expansion. But right now, he's my secret weapon; I explode it when I need it. He certainly won a rotation spot and he's in the rotation, but like I said, if we need him to become a bigger role, he just keeps going. "
Wanting to keep Caruso a secret is a feeling that fans can sympathize with. When it was reported that the Lakers were receiving calls for Caruso on the trade deadline, it was like when you find out that everyone is starting to listen to an indie band that you once held close to and that was close to your heart. But it's not music - it's basketball, and every minute the Lakers play Rajon Rondo in favor of Caruso, they are actively disadvantaged.
Will there be RondoY nights is? Yes, and when he does, he should be rewarded with playing time. But it's pretty obvious when he doesn't have it, and there's no reason for Rondo to have a longer leash than everyone on the list, especially when the Lakers have as many bodies as they do in the lead position.
As difficult as it is for Vogel to have this conversation with Rondo, it is time for Rondo to take his place in Caruso.
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