Step aside Alex Caruso, there’s a new Los Angeles Lakers young stud in town. Last year, there was a lot of talk about this second-round pick out of Iowa State named Talen Horton-Tucker. Nobody really knew a lot about him until head coach Frank Vogel inserted him into a playoff game.
He played surprisingly well but still didn’t become part of the rotation. Well, the Lakers probably won’t be able to hold him back anymore. He’s been excellent for the team through two preseason games. Horton-Tucker scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds during Sunday night’s game against the Clippers and the internet had a lot of fun over his performance.
“This is the way” pic.twitter.com/JVbDCrVZrb
— Pau Chrisol (@Huertaweightgo) December 14, 2020
— Mia Faigen-Agraviador (@MiaAgraviador) December 14, 2020
Live look at the rest of the league watching THT pic.twitter.com/lB59azZ4su
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) December 14, 2020
Pelinka trying to figure out how to give THT a 12 year extension. pic.twitter.com/9xi0HQERKP
— ShowtimeForum (@ShowtimeForum) December 14, 2020
How THT looking at the Clippers pic.twitter.com/BaLH09ILM7
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) December 14, 2020
LeBron James also couldn’t hold back over the impressive play from his young teammate.
THT is HOOPING and Bron is lovin' it 🔥
31 points and counting. pic.twitter.com/ynyXBdBMOj
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 14, 2020
Obviously, it’s just the preseason but the early signs are that Horton-Tucker is a stud in the making. LeBron even said that the young guard is going to a star. Perhaps it wasn’t just him hyping up his teammate.
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Kawhi Leonard Didn’t Know THT Is 20
The Clippers are getting a first-hand look at a young player who might be a problem for them over the next several years. He’s been so impressive that Kawhi Leonard had to ask Wesley Matthews how old the guard is.
“Hey Wesley, Talen is 19?” Matthews said Leonard asked him.
Matthews elaborated further.
“I’m like ‘Huh? 19?’ So I asked [Talen], and he said ‘yeah, I just turned 20,’ and I was like ‘wow,” Matthews said. And we can safely add him to the list of Lakers people who are loving what they see from the youngest player on the team.
“Special is definitely the word to describe his game. He’s young, but he’s got all the tools. He’s a dog, he’s tough on offense and defense. He’s crafty, he’s got some stuff to him, and he’s only going to get better,” Matthews said. “He’s learning from one of the best to ever touch a basketball [LeBron James], and he’s just going to continue to grind and continue to work. I’m excited to hopefully be a part of his growth process.”
Kawhi is one of the best in the world and Horton-Tucker has clearly caught his eye.
Will THT Have a Role This Year?
As previously mentioned, Horton-Tucker’s performance in these first two preseason games have to be taken with a grain of salt. There’s no doubt he’s been amazing and he has played well against the Clippers’ top guys. However, his role will be very different when the regular season starts.
While the Lakers clearly love him, they’ve got a really stacked roster. It’ll be hard to even get Horton-Tucker in games a lot of nights. He’s lighting up the scoreboard now but he’ll be crashing back to earth soon. LeBron and Anthony Davis haven’t even played yet. With all that said, Horton-Tucker is showing amazing signs for the team. He may not have a big role this year but the future is very bright for him.