Lakers’ Alex Caruso out against Trail Blazers

Lakers' Alex Caruso drives against Dallas Mavericks' Jalen Brunson.
The Lakers’ Alex Caruso drives against the Dallas Mavericks’ Jalen Brunson during the first half last Friday at Staples Center.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Alex Caruso was not playing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night because he had entered the NBA’s “health and safety” protocols.

Because Caruso played for the Lakers during Sunday night’s game at Staples Center, Vogel was asked if he could elaborate more on his guard’s situation.

“Forrest Gump, that’s all I can say about that,” Vogel said on a videoconference before the game.


Caruso played 11 minutes against the Timberwolves and had seven points on three-for-four shooting, and two rebounds.

Portland forward Carmelo Anthony didn’t travel to Los Angeles because the team said he was in the league’s “health and safety” protocols.

The Los Angeles Lakers continued dominating play by sharing the basketball Sunday. Five takeaways from the 127-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Dec. 28, 2020

Vogel was asked how much notice does a team get about a player having to enter the league’s “health and safety” protocols.

“How much notice do we get? As soon as we hear about it,” Vogel said. “It could be in the morning. It could be in the afternoon. It’s going to be different case-by-case.”

With the coronavirus still raging throughout the country, the NBA protocols apply to scenarios that include either a positive or inconclusive result or because of reasons related to contact tracing.


Vogel said the Lakers’ daily testing is based on what they have going on that day.

On off-days, Vogel said they typically test between 8 a.m. and noon and that the players are allowed to come in any time “throughout that window.”

Vogel said the testing time changes if they have practice at 11 a.m. or at noon and that if they have a 9:45 a.m. shoot-around, the testing starts about 7:30 a.m.

“So, we adjust it on the day’s schedule,” Vogel said. “Like you said, if we’re on an off-day, we just drive in, go get tested and drive home.”

Vogel said his coaching staff has been fine and that all were at the games.

He said they are good with the contact tracing and keeping the staff safe.

Marc Gasol showcased his high basketball IQ and on-court savviness in the Lakers’ blowout victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Dec. 28, 2020

“Well, everything we do at work, so to speak, or in our travel party is designed to not only keep us safe from the virus but to protect us from quarantine situations,” Vogel said. “If we’re not following the protocols and a staff person comes in close contact with someone, they are going to be subject to potential close contact quarantine. That’s at work. That’s why we feel like it’s safe through an NBA season the way we’re doing it, because all these protocols are in place to keep everyone safe.

“So, we make sure we follow them, and I think the things you have to think about is that’s not the only place people are. If any of us has a situation where a family member tests positive or something like that, we could all be subject to that type of contact quarantine. But in terms of what we’re doing at work, these protocols are designed to keep us safe.”