If you thought the Los Angeles Lakers already were stacked with talent, they could have a hidden gem on their roster. Last postseason, the team shocked the world when they gave Talen Horton-Tucker a shot to play against the Houston Rockets. Instead of folding under the pressure, Horton-Tucker played well and with confidence.
Heading into this upcoming season, expectations have been raised for the young guard. The Lakers are stacked with veteran talent but Horton-Tucker proved that he deserves playing time with a 19 point and nine rebound performance against the Clippers in the first game of the preseason.
The Lakers have sung his praises before but it seems like they’re legitimately expecting big things from him. LeBron James had some very strong thoughts about his young teammate.
LeBron knows a thing or two about basketball, so if he says Horton-Tucker is going to be special, there’s a real shot he might be.
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Horton-Tucker Appreciates Frank Vogel Being Tough on Him
The Lakers don’t have a ton of youth on their roster so it’s very important they develop what they. Head coach Frank Vogel has admitted in the past that he’s tougher on Horton-Tucker than he is on other players. The young guard doesn’t have a problem with it.
“With coach being a little harder on me, I feel like it’s good for my development,” Horton-Tucker said, via Silver Screen & Roll. “Being able to learn as much as I can right now is the most important thing for me, so I just feel like anything that the coaches say to me or the players say to me is good, so I appreciate it.”
Horton-Tucker is surrounded by some of the best basketball minds in the world. Fortunately, it sounds like he’s taking on any challenge the Lakers send his way. If he’s as good as the team is making him out be, he could end up being a massive steal for them.
Vogel Praises Horton-Tucker’s Performance
Horton-Tucker will get some minutes on the floor this season but the Lakers are stacked. He’s probably not going to get on the court every night. The preseason is his time to shine and he’s doing just that. Vogel had some high praise for Hotron-Tucker.
“I thought he looked really good,” Vogel said. “Talen, we want to put the ball in his hands in pick and rolls a lot, but he can attack in the open court, he can come off pin-downs and he’s a great second-side attacker in catch-and-shoot situations and attacking closeouts. He didn’t even finish well tonight at the rim, he’s still getting his legs under him a little bit, but he still had 19 and 9 and it was a big performance and a great start.”
Horton-Tucker is just 20 years old so there’s plenty of room for him to grow. It’s impressive how much improvement he’s showing the team despite his age. It remains to be seen how exactly the Lakers plan to use him this year but if he keeps looking like a stud, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the court.