Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker provided a major spark coming off the bench!
With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still out with a sprained ankle, it opened up some minutes for Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso, who made his return from the NBA health protocol. Caruso’s return was a good sight to see.
Alex Caruso showed why the Lakers need him badly in the lineup. When the Lakers were struggling to get the offense started in the first quarter, AC Fresh knocked down two HUGE 3 point shots to keep the Lakers in the hunt.
Caruso’s biggest contribution was bringing some type of defensive presence to slow down the Spurs offense. Frank Vogel had him on the floor in the last quarter as the Lakers tried to make their last push. What Caruso brings to the table is the consistent defensive effort to hold the rest of the backcourt and the wings accountable.
Plus if he’s going to hit all three of his shots (Two from distance!) for 8 points and hand out 3 assists, isn’t it time for this guy to get more minutes when he gets his legs under him?
No, THT does not need to start as some fans would like. He’s not ready for that yet and the Lakers do not want to sabotage his development by putting him situation he could fail.
Talen Horton-Tucker had a solid bounce-back game from that awful performance in Memphis. THT with his energy helped get the Lakers back in the game in the first half.
In 21 minutes, THT had a stat line of 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He, like Caruso, competed on defense. He could have gone into a funk after the previous game, so he is improving.
This play is everything!
- THT grabs the rebound and look at the great pass to Anthony Davis at the rim.
- AD gets caught under the rim and passes to a cutting Alex Caruso in the lane who passes back to THT.
- Horton-Tucker hits LeBron James with a pass and gets it back quickly.
- Then THT blows by Keldon Johnson and gets in the lane bringing up LaMarcus Aldridge freeing up AD.
- Talen hits AD with the slick pass and AD flushes it,
In previous games, Talen Horton-Tucker would have tried to force a shot. This shows growth and proper coaching. He’s getting there.
Now let’s discuss why Anthony Davis is angry enough to kick over a drink cart because of the Lakers defense.