Check out this detailed breakdown of Alex Caruso locking down Kevin Durant originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, Alex Caruso was of major assistance by way of a phenomenal two-way performance. Most notably, his defensive execution against one of the league's greatest scorers of all time --- Kevin Durant --- helped give the Bulls a chance to defeat the Suns.
It shouldn't go without noting Caruso scored 19 points off the bench. He notched four 3-point shots on five attempts, shooting 7-of-9 from the field for the night. But his defensive IQ was on display against the Suns and Durant late in the game.
Check out this detailed film breakdown, courtesy of The Sporting News' Stephen Noh.
Alex Caruso gave Kevin Durant hell last night. Deep dive on how he did it.
Turn sound on to hear why Caruso is a defensive savant. pic.twitter.com/F8hT1IiMr7
— Steph Noh (@StephNoh) November 9, 2023
As Noh points out, Caruso is excellent at screwing up the timing of the team's plays and the rhythm of their players. He puts bumps on off-ball players to mess up passing. And he face guards right up against his opponents, making them uncomfortable with the ball in their hands.
His endurance is unmatched, too. He can defend full court, hassling point guards as they bring up the ball past halfcourt. He forced Durant into a travel and made it miserable for him to create space to receive the ball.
Most impressively, in my opinion, Noh points out Caruso's deep understanding of his opponent's playbook. He called out two plays, at the very least, against the Suns. He tried to notify Zach LaVine and the floor of a Durant backscreen off an inbounds play. And he called out a pistol-five action they ran through Josef Nurkic, too.
Of course, he somehow held his ground against Durant in isolation as he tried to make a last-second shot to win the game. Caruso made it a difficult shot, forcing Durant to miss the game-winner in regulation.
Caruso is undoubtedly one of the league's best defenders. And Wednesday night's game is proof of his growing presence in the Bulls' offense, too.