Alex Caruso Wins 2023-24 NBAHustle Awardfor Exceptional Effort and Impact

Alex Caruso wins 2023-24 NBA Hustle Award for exceptional effort and impact on the court. He topped the league in deflections, loose balls recovered, and charges drawn per game, leading the Bulls to success.

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Alex Caruso Wins 2023-24 NBAHustle Awardfor Exceptional Effort and Impact

Alex Caruso Wins 2023-24 NBAHustle Awardfor Exceptional Effort and Impact

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso has been named the recipient of the 2023-24 NBA Hustle Award, recognizing his exceptional effort and impact on the court that may not be reflected in traditional box score statistics. The 30-year-old Caruso topped the league in several key "hustle stats," including deflections per game, loose balls recovered per game, and charges drawn per contest.

Caruso averaged an impressive 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game this season, making him one of only two guards, alongside Derrick White of the Boston Celtics, to average at least one steal and one block per game. His tenacious defense and relentless pursuit of the ball were instrumental in the Bulls' success.

The NBA Hustle Award, now in its eighth year, honors players who make exceptional effort plays that significantly impact winning but may not be reflected in the traditional box score. Caruso's impact on the Bulls' defense was undeniable. When he was on the court, Chicago posted a defensive rating of 110.6, equivalent to the second-best defense in the league. However, when Caruso was off the court, the Bulls' defensive rating plummeted to 117.0, which would rank 24th in the NBA.

Known for his gritty playing style, Caruso was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team last season and is a strong candidate to land on one of the league's two All-Defensive Teams again this year. His path to the NBA is a demonstration of his hard work and determination, as he went undrafted in 2016 and had to prove himself in the G League before earning a spot on the Los Angeles Lakers' roster in 2017.

The voting results for the 2023-24 NBA Hustle Award placed Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes second, followed by Golden State Warriors guard Brandin Podziemski, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort, and Charlotte Hornets forward Grant Williams. Memphis Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart, who won the award in the past two years and in 2019, was ineligible this season on account of a finger injury.

Caruso's win showcases the importance of intangible qualities like hard work, determination, and a relentless pursuit of the ball, highlighting the significant impact these attributes can have on a team's success. The NBA continues to recognize and celebrate players who make exceptional contributions beyond the traditional box score, with the Hustle Award serving to highlight that effort plays are just as valuable as scoring points or grabbing rebounds.

Key Takeaways

  • Alex Caruso wins 2023-24 NBA Hustle Award for exceptional effort and impact.
  • Caruso led league in deflections, loose balls recovered, and charges drawn per game.
  • He averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game.
  • Caruso's defense improved Bulls' rating from 117.0 to 110.6 when on the court.
  • This is the 8th year of the NBA Hustle Award, recognizing effort plays beyond box scores.