Phoenix Suns: Alex Caruso Throws Shade at Last Year’s NBA Finals Run

Phoenix Suns, Alex Caruio (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Alex Caruio (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

As the Phoenix Suns won their ninth straight game last night, Alex Caruso’s Chicago Bulls drove their horns deep into the Los Angeles Lakers, blowing them out by a 121-103 score. They earned their first win against the Lake Show since 2016, once again illustrating their team’s miraculous turnaround this year.

Largely contributing to this renaissance in the windy city, Caruso finds himself averaging 7.5 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.5 steals per game this season. Last night, he failed to put up any points, but still set up his teammates for scoring opportunities while also badgering Los Angeles at the defensive end, finishing with two steals, six rebounds, and five assists.

But despite these efforts, Caruso still came to LA’s defense a few hours before the contest, where he simultaneously dissed the Suns.

Having spent his last four years playing for the Lakers, Caruso became a victim of Phoenix’s surprise run to the NBA Finals last season. While speaking with Bill Oram of The Athletic, Caruso looked back on his time wearing Laker threads, and declared that injuries were the only reason the Suns defeated his Lakers.

Putting it simply, Caruso told Oram, “If A.D. is healthy, I think we beat Phoenix in the first round.”

Caruso is not the only player still sore over Western Conference conquest last year. This past summer, Donovan Mitchell referenced his own injuries as the sole reason behind why Phoenix won the West rather than his Utah Jazz.

For the Suns, even entertaining these opinions never felt worthwhile last year. But now with an entirely new season well underway, doing so at this point feels even more ridiculous.

Boasting the Western Conference’s second best record, the Suns continue to silince their doubters, proving that last year was no fluke. Davis’s injury certainly impacted that past series, but who cares at this point? The Suns were clearly a Finals worthy team last year,  and already look like one again this year.

Not to go overboard though, Caruso never blatantly insulated the Suns with his statement. He likely would have said the same about anyone if they had beaten the Lakers last year.

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But with the Suns carrying fierce competitors like Devin Booker and Chris Paul, who only need the slightest motivational factor to go nuclear on the court, watch for Phoenix to put some extra force when going up against Caruso and the Bulls later down the line. They play Chicago three times this year, but need to wait a bit, with their first contest coming not coming until early February.