Sunday, January 23 2022
Getty Images

Talen Horton-Tucker, who has yet to play for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. Horton-Tucker has been recovering from preseason surgery to repair torn ligaments in his thumb, but he is now on track to make his season debut at a moment in which the Lakers need all of the help they can get. 

On Friday, the Lakers lost a game to the Minnesota Timberwolves in which they were outscored by 28 points in the third quarter alone. The defeat dropped Los Angeles to 7-6 on the season despite one of the easiest schedules in the NBA. Their struggles have, in part, been the result of injuries across the entire roster. LeBron James has played in only six games. Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza have not played at all. Avery Bradley is questionable for Sunday with a sprained ankle, Austin Reaves is dealing with a hamstring injury and Anthony Davis has played through illness and a thumb issue of his own recently. The depleted Lakers simply need healthy bodies at the moment.

They hope that Horton-Tucker can be much more than that, though. The Lakers made an enormous bet on him this season. The Lakers have three players making the maximum salary and 10 making the minimum. Horton-Tucker is one of only two players on the roster in between those two extremes. The three-year, $31 million deal he signed this offseason made him the fourth-highest-paid player on the team despite appearing in only 71 games as a professional thus far. 

Teams intent on competing for championships tend to prefer proven commodities, but Horton-Tucker has flashed impressive upside in his short career. While he struggles as a shooter, his length, strength and ball-handling have made him a strong driver that was among the NBA’s best finishers at the rim last season. The team expects some of those traits to translate defensively. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso gone, the Lakers need someone to guard top opposing wings. Ideally, that player will be Horton-Tucker. 

With James still out and the team struggling without him, the Lakers are counting on Horton-Tucker to help turn things around. It’s a lot to ask of a player with so little NBA experience, but the Lakers showed their belief in Horton-Tucker with the contract they gave him this summer. On Sunday, we’ll likely get our first glimpse into whether or not he can live up to it. 



Wizards vs Magic: Preview, Prediction, and Betting Picks


Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley is so impressive NBA coaches are reportedly jealous they don't get to coach him

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Watch Bucks vs. Kings: TV channel, live stream info, start time

Who’s Playing Sacramento @ Milwaukee Current Records: Sacramento 18-29; Milwaukee 29-19 What to Know The Sacramento Kings are 2-10 against the Milwaukee Bucks since November of 2015, but they’ll have a chance to close the gap a little bit Saturday. Sacramento will take on Milwaukee at 7 p.m. ET at Fiserv Forum after having had […]

Read More

Kings vs Bucks Prediction, NBA Picks and Betting Trends for Tonight’s Game

The Milwaukee Bucks continue their defence of their NBA Championship when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to the Fiserv Forum on Saturday night. Let’s take a look at the top NBA picks and betting trends, as well as the starting lineups for tonight’s Bulls vs Bucks game. Kings vs Bucks Game Info Sacramento Kings  (18-29) […]

Read More

Ortiz’s HOF case changing stigma around DH?

If anyone makes the Baseball Hall of Fame when results of the always contentious voting are announced Tuesday, it will be legendary Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. The gregarious postseason hero known as Big Papi is the only candidate trending toward potential induction in the ballots already made public, as tracked by Ryan Thibodaux […]

Read More