“It’s going to make my job difficult for sure,” Vogel stated when requested how he’ll discover a position for Horton-Tucker after he dominated the LA Clippers with 33 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in a 131-106 win Sunday.
Horton-Tucker, chosen by the Lakers with the No. 46 decide within the 2019 draft, was in a position to present out largely due to whom L.A. was lacking. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Wesley Matthews and Dennis Schroder got the night time off to rest, and Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok have been late scratches due to the “health and safety protocols of the league,” in accordance with Vogel.
Talen Horton-Tucker has 31 points in 3 quarters… young stud. pic.twitter.com/qZoTygywPM
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) December 14, 2020
That left 41 minutes accessible for Horton-Tucker to play — greater than half the 81 minutes he logged his complete rookie season — through which he racked up a plus-minus of plus-36.
“We have a very deep team. No minutes are guaranteed,” Vogel stated. “He’s going to keep playing at a high level, and that should push everybody else to stay playing at a high level. It does give us that luxury of having him carry the load some for some of our guys who played deep in the championship run last year and had a short offseason.”
In an unprecedented season the Lakers and the NBA are embarking on in 2020-21, having somebody equivalent to Horton-Tucker on the roster is a boon. He can fill in when the celebs rest, as Vogel alluded. He is another in a position physique ought to COVID-19 have an effect on the locker room. And, notably within the case of a veteran team just like the Lakers, the power generated from witnessing a 20-year outdated discovering his manner within the league appears to have already rubbed off on the group.
James was demonstrative on the sidelines all night time lengthy, getting out of his seat to imitate how Horton-Tucker flicked his wrist to complete a shot in visitors, shaking his head in amazement after a steal and end on the opposite end and even taking off his masks to spike it on the bench like he scored a landing when the Iowa State product scored another bucket.
“I look at it as a blessing,” Horton-Tucker, who is usually known as “THT,” stated. “It’s actually crazy because I feel like what other 19-, 20-year-old gets this experience in the world? Not too many. So just being able to take everything in and learn from it every day, seeing other superstars kind of notice it is actually pretty good.”
Standing 6-foot-4, however with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Horton-Tucker has proven a knack for utilizing that attain to make performs on the defensive end.
“Obviously he’s still young and he’s going to make some mistakes from time to time, but he has as much defensive talent as he does offensive talent,” Vogel stated. “So I feel like he’s going to fit in well for us.”
His potential is already beginning to mirror another younger, defensive-minded guard for the Lakers who went from the G League two years ago to beginning Game 6 of the NBA Finals towards the Miami Heat: Alex Caruso.
“Everybody’s journey is different, but I just feel like AC is a pretty good one,” Horton-Tucker stated. “Just being able to see him next to me everyday, it gives you a good measuring stick to see where you are individually. So just being able to have a guy like that and see the success that he’s had, it gives me confidence in myself that I can do the same thing.”