Lakers’ Alex Caruso misses Pelicans game with lingering calf tightness

first_imgEven though it’s the same opponent, it’s not the same context. When the Lakers played New Orleans for the first time this season in November, Davis was already looking forward to getting past the initial meeting. And now that they are past it with the Lakers atop the Western Conference standings and the Pelicans under .500, some of the meaning had diminished for Davis, who literally shrugged as he talked about the matchup beforehand.When asked if he was surprised New Orleans was struggling without him, he responded with indifference.“I haven’t really paid attention,” he said. “I have nothing to do with that organization, with the team, what they’re doing, wins and losses. That’s something they have to try to figure out. I’m focused on the Lakers and what I have to do to help this team win.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe roots of the injury reach back: Vogel confirmed that when Caruso sat out a Nov. 23 game in Memphis, it was the same ailment.The Lakers have been cautious when it comes to running role players through injury. Rajon Rondo missed 10 of the Lakers’ first 11 games with a calf injury that the medical staff thought could be related to his Achilles tendon. Kuzma recently sat out five games to rest his ankle, which wasn’t healing quickly when he was trying to play through it.While Caruso’s statistical production doesn’t bowl anyone over, he’s helped round out some of the Lakers’ most effective lineups with his defensive play. At 6-foot-5, Caruso’s length is a relatively unique trait in the Lakers’ crowded guard rotation.“He’s a big guard, great point guard, able to score the ball, able to find guys, good on defense, that’s definitely what we miss,” Davis said. “But I think we’ve got guys who can step up, we got (Troy Daniels, Quinn Cook, Rondo). We just slide guys to different positions.”There is something going for Caruso that no other Laker guard can claim: On Thursday, the NBA released its early All-Star voting returns that showed him in eighth place among Western Conference guards. While James, Davis and Dwight Howard are all in the top 10 among frontcourt players, no other Lakers guards made the top 10. Davis temporarily overlooked that Caruso is averaging fewer than six points and two assists per game, light-heartedly cheering on his teammates’ chances.“For them to see that, great for them, so I’m happy for them and hopefully those two guys (Caruso and Howard) can make the team,” he said. “Come on. Laker Nation, let’s get the whole team in there.”DAVIS UNMOVED BY SECOND PELICANS MATCHUPReturning to New Orleans in front of the fans he used to play for was an emotional experience for Anthony Davis, who looked back on it by saying: “We weathered the storm.”This one? Not so much.Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — Lingering injuries have already been a problem for the Lakers less than halfway through the season.Kyle Kuzma’s ankle, Anthony Davis’ shoulder and LeBron James’ groin have all been concerns. Lately, it’s been Alex Caruso’s right calf.The Lakers told reporters before Friday’s game that Caruso would be missing action against the New Orleans Pelicans with tightness in the area. He played just four minutes against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday before being pulled in the third quarter.“It’s been progressing,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “Just something that’s been there. It flared up a little bit, his soreness. So it’s a long-haul approach with a lot of our guys and the same with him.”center_img Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions last_img


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