Frank Vogel on Talen Horton-Tucker’s game four performance: “He plays beyond his years”

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – AUGUST 06: Talen Horton-Tucker #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a shot against the Houston Rockets in the second half at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 6, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel pulled out a surprise by playing rookie Talen Horton-Tucker in Thursday’s huge win against the Houston Rockets. The former Iowa State Hawkeye did not disappoint in the short time he made an appearance. THT finished the game with five points and two steals. He led all Lakers bench players in the first half.

During the start of seeding games, there were many whispers about how much THT rounded out his game in bubble practices. He drew some great praise from the team’s veterans.

Since the start of the year, he’s transformed his body from a chubby 19-year-old to a more chiseled and mature frame. As stated, Coach Vogel not only has noticed what he has done physically, but his efforts between games are on the radar.

While it’s unrealistic to expect more of a role going into the remaining games in the playoffs, the mere fact that THT got an opportunity is an encouraging sign for the Lakers’ future. As both LeBron James and Anthony Davis grow older, it’s imperative to develop young talent beside them. But as we learned tonight, sometimes it’s what’s in front of us that’s there for progression and THT seems to notice this as well. Get those minutes, young man.

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