Frank Vogel Calls Alex Caruso Lakers' 'Secret Weapon' After Win vs. Nuggets

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 13, 2020

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 12: Alex Caruso #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Denver Nuggets on February 12, 2020 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Alex Caruso is already a Los Angeles Lakers fan favorite, but he added a new title to his resume Wednesday after head coach Frank Vogel called him a "secret weapon."

ESPN Los Angeles provided the soundbite:  

"Alex is our secret weapon," Vogel said. "He comes in and usually provides a spark off the bench."

"I break him out when I need him," he added.

The remarks came after the Lakers' 120-116 overtime win over the Denver NuggetsCaruso had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in the victory. He played the final 4:16 of regulation and all of overtime.

The third-year guard's efforts helped guide the 41-12 Lakers to their third straight win and fifth victory in sixth tries. It was a crucial game for the Purple and Gold, as it extended their lead over the second-place Nuggets to four games in the Western Conference.

L.A. is in prime position to assume the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs heading into the All-Star break, but Caruso may be seeing more court time on the other side of it.

Ralph Mason provided another quote from Vogel that came after a question from ESPN's Dave McMenamin:

Caruso is averaging 18.2 minutes per game after Wednesday.

He's fared quite well at times when given extra opportunities, with a 16-point, four-assist performance in a 142-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 8 serving as one example. Caruso also scored 10 points and closed out a 99-97 win over the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 15.

On the flip side, more Caruso court time could mean fewer minutes for Rajon Rondo, who only saw 14 on Wednesday. The veteran floor general has played anywhere from 14-27 minutes in his past 11 games.

Lakers fans should see more of Caruso in person soon if his playing time does increase, as eight of the team's 12 games immediately following the All-Star break are at home.

The second half starts with a Friday, Feb. 21 contest against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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