The real story? Los Angeles Lakers really wanted to see what they had in Talen Horton-Tucker!
When a team is the reigning NBA champions with less than two months rest, winning the first preseason game is the last priority for getting ready for a season. With none of the rotation players outside of Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Dennis Schroder playing, the Lakers’ coaching staff wanted to give Talen Horton-Tucker real minutes to monitor his progress.
Reports were coming out that Horton-Tucker was impressing many in training camp.
After this game, it seems that he got a HUGE thumbs up from one of the franchise players, LeBron James.
Talen led the Los Angeles Lakers in scoring with 19 points on 6-17 shooting. But it’s plain to see with LeBron’s tweet here that he has the talent that will have him in the Lakers rotation at times this upcoming season. Plus, he was the youngest player on the floor.
In a game like this, playing with energy and toughness is a staple that Horton-Tucker is showcasing. Did he shoot great? No. But he filled the box scores with 9 rebounds (Remember he’s a guard folks!), 4 assists and 3 steals.
As long as he plays this type of floor game, he has plenty of time to work on these things. This will get him in trouble during the season…
- Learn how to play the angles to get space to finish and coordinate his incredible length. There were many instances he had his head down and tried to force himself to the basket. If he can slow down slightly, he can drive and kick to the shooters. Plus, it will help him on his turnovers (3).
- Just relax and shoot the ball when open. He hesitated a few times and he was aiming his shot. That caused the shot to be left short. But the dude is 19. He has plenty of time.
But it’s the preseason. This is the time for trial and error. He can get to the hole, but now he needs to better read the play and open up options.
Bottom line though, Talen Horton-Tucker can play some ball.
Speaking of players that hustled and played with great energy, read on to see who else came to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.