The Los Angeles Lakers still have yet to see the season debuts for Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn as they recover from an ankle procedure and knee bone bruise, respectively. The team also hasn’t seen the debut of their up-and-coming 20-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker, however, that may change in the early afternoon Spurs game.
THT comes in listed as “probable” on the injury report, nearly clearing any doubt that he finally gets on the court for the Lakers.
LeBron James is still OUT tomorrow, but THT is now PROBABLE to make his return. pic.twitter.com/pQZs7GTlF1
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 13, 2021
Although Talen Horton-Tucker is no “LeBron James”, the Lakers will welcome any returns from injury from any of their players in street clothes as the team is really down to its last leg in terms of available players. The Lakers only had 9 available players last Wednesday against the Miami Heat (not including two-way players Jay Huff and Sekou Doumbouya, the latter of which played in the Timberwolves’ blowout victory against the Lakers on Friday).
In the third quarter of the Lakers’ most recent loss against the Timberwolves, the team had extreme struggles with scoring, losing that frame in a disappointing fashion with a 40-12 point disparity. THT could definitely help in this regard, with his ability to get to the basket helping in situations where the Lakers’ shots aren’t falling.
We also may see him inject some life into the Lakers’ defense, an area where Frank Vogel had big plans for THT before the season began. Although he’s only 6’4”, THT’s 7’1” wingspan allows him to masquerade as a wing defender, something the team has been lacking with all of these injuries with a roster stacked in the “guard” department.
Although it sounds like it’s very likely we see our young lad THT back on the floor, LeBron James continues to remain out. However, The King sounds like he’s nearing a return very soon as Vogel said before Friday’s loss against the T’Wolves that he is truly “day-to-day” (per Silver Screen & Roll). Vogel added that he is “back to doing on-the-court basketball activity” and that the injury does not seem that it will keep him out an “extended stretch” as some reports were hypothesizing.
The combination of news on THT and LeBron has to be welcomed with open arms by Frank Vogel and the squad, as a bevy of returning players would really help the team try and get back to their championship hopes they had prior to the season’s start.