Talen Horton-Tucker is seriously struggling and, given who might be getting healthy for the Lakers soon, his minutes aren’t exactly a sure thing moving forward.
Another night, another frustrating Los Angeles Lakers loss without both Anthony Davis and Frank Vogel. Yes, Davis is clearly missed more because the guy who started season as the Lakers’ starting center can’t get minutes even while Davis is out, but given what we’ve seen from David Fizdale as the interim head coach... you know what let’s just move on.
This week on the “I Love Basketball” podcast, Sabreena Merchant and I discussed the Lakers blowing yet another double-digit lead, Fizdale’s apparent approach to coaching, and Talen Horton-Tucker, who is just kind of sad to watch nowadays.
To start, Sabreena and I tried to figure out what Fizdale is trying to accomplish with some of his decisions over the course of the games he’s coached since Frank Vogel entered health and safety protocols. Even given the lowered expectations because of the situation he’s walking into, neither Sabreena or I have been particularly impressed with him.
We then jumped into some of the stuff we saw in this game (as well as a player we haven’t really seen — give us Jemerrio Jones just once please) and how predictable a lot of the breakdowns were, especially given some of the combinations the Lakers either had to — or chose to — trot out there.
Speaking of combinations:
Russ and THT played 13 minutes together tonight and the Lakers were -30.9 per 100 possessions in that time. They’re carrying a -8.4 NRTG so far this season (395 min). We really don’t have to see any more of that thanks.— Anthony F. Irwin (@AnthonyIrwinLA) December 30, 2021
Mathematically, it’s getting kind of tough to figure out where Horton-Tucker fits in as guys hopefully get and stay healthy. Russell Westbrook is obviously going to command a huge chunk of minutes, and if he and THT can’t figure things out, then that severely limits the latter’s role.
Malik Monk and Austin Reaves have both just been better than Horton-Tucker this year. Eventually, Kendrick Nunn is going to have to get a shot at earning a sizable role. If Stanley Johnson sticks around, him, Trevor Ariza and LeBron James will take a lot of the small forward minutes. So, where does Horton-Tucker fit in with all that to consider?
Honestly, we have no idea.
You can listen to all those discussions and more on the full episode below, and to make sure you never miss a show, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.