Frank Vogel says Lakers are challenging Talen Horton-Tucker to be 'that guy' on defense - Lakers Daily

Frank Vogel says Lakers are challenging Talen Horton-Tucker to be ‘that guy’ on defense

Talen Horton-Tucker and Caris LeVert Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel recently revealed that the team is challenging Talen Horton-Tucker to be “that guy” on the defensive end.

“You talk about the defensive end, and who’s gonna be that guy? He’s been challenged,” Vogel said of Horton-Tucker during a podcast appearance. “This is a big growth season for him. He has the ability. The last two years he’s been a young player. He’s gotten a little bit better as we’ve gone. He’s one of those guys that looking at KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) and Alex [Caruso] not being here, can you step up and fill into that role of guarding some of the other best players?”

Vogel continued to explain that mindset is very important, and he added that Horton-Tucker has the traits necessary to succeed.

“Internal confidence goes a long way, and what you love about him is he does have that humility and that demeanor of being a sponge and knowing he’s a young player and wanting to get better and have a whatever I can do to help the team type of mindset,” Vogel said. “He’s got the right attitude, but he’s also got great tremendous internal confidence and guts to take the shot you were referring to, to go into traffic and get to the basket in a fearless manner and improve the decisions he’s making once he gets there. So there’s a lot there. We feel like he’s gonna improve his 3-point shooting this year both with the work and the shot selection, and he’s gonna have opportunities to really compete on the defensive end against some great players.”

Horton-Tucker is one of L.A.’s most promising young players, and a lot of fans have high hopes for his 2021-22 campaign.

If the youngster improves on the defensive end, he’ll have a chance to become an extremely well-rounded player.

In the 2020-21 season, Horton-Tucker averaged 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He knocked down 45.8 percent of his shots from the field despite shooting just 28.2 percent from deep.

It sounds like Vogel is optimistic about Horton-Tucker’s 3-point shooting potential for the upcoming season in addition to his defense.

The former second-round pick took a big leap from his rookie season to his sophomore campaign, and he’d surely love to take another step forward in the 2021-22 season.