Give Talen Horton-Tucker a larger role post-all-star break
There will be no All-Star game this season but the All-Star game marks the 2nd part of the season truly starts.
LeBron James so far this season has not taken his foot off the gas at all.
The 4-time MVP is still playing at an absurdly high level for a player at any age. The level that LeBron is playing during his 18th season and at the age of 36 years old is mythical level incredible.
I fully believe that LeBron can keep this level of play up all season, but believing and wanting him to do that are completely different things.
Selfishly, fans of the purple and gold and NBA fans, in general, would love to see LeBron ball out all season and LeBron has never been one to disappoint, but after the shortest off-season in NBA history, the Lakers organization need to be more mindful that LeBron needs to be fresh for the playoffs.
It’s cool to win the MVP award but team awards are far more important than individual accolades.
So while LeBron will still play virtually every single game post-all-star-break, his minutes will decline and the Lakers will potentially look to take advantage of the league’s newly introduced “relaxed” resting player rules and allow LeBron to sit out back to backs.
LeBron will start games, he will help the Lakers build a comfortable lead, and when the lead is seemingly out of reach, LeBron will sit unless it is a “Break in case of emergencies” moment.
Bringing in a player like Trevor Ariza lightens this load a bit for LeBron but the player who will be asked to step up in his place will be Talen Horton-Tucker.
In no way shape or form is THT comparable to LeBron, but THT is a rising star within the Lakers organization and, if giving him more responsibility lightens the load for LeBron having him well rested for the playoffs and in turn, gives THT more reps and more chance to get even better as a player then it is mutually beneficial for the purple and gold to give Horton-Tucker more time.
THT, in limited minutes this season, has been nothing short of a revelation.
He shows a remarkable poise for the game for someone so young at only 20 years old.
His maturity, his ball-handling, his defensive, and offensive abilities are that of someone much older than 20.
Upping THT’s minutes to allow him to mature further and gain even more confidence could pay off significant dividends come playoff time.
Resting Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, and LeBron James post-All-Star break is going to be vital to the Lakers back to back aspirations.
If Hassan Whiteside, Markieff Morris, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma can lighten the load for Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, that would be huge.
If THT, Wes Matthews, KCP, Kyle Kuzma, and Trevor Ariza can come in and make LeBron’s life easier, then the Lakers will have the best possible chance of going back to back.
Two depth pieces for the purple and gold and they are fully prepared to go back to back and get the Lakers an NBA leading 18th ring and LeBron James his 5th ring typing Kobe and Magic and one behind GOATs in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan.