The Los Angeles Lakers were able to end their four-game road trip with an impressive victory in one of their best overall team performances of the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Frank Vogel’s team did so, however, without one of their most important role players in Talen Horton-Tucker.
After missing the Lakers’ victory over the Toronto Raptors, Horton-Tucker was available for the team’s game against the Washington Wizards but struggled mightily in his 17 minutes, missing all five of his shot attempts.
The Lakers decided to hold Horton-Tucker out of Monday’s contest and head coach Frank Vogel says that the third-year guard will be day-to-day moving forward.
“We’re gonna hold Talen out,” Vogel said ahead of the Lakers’ victory over the Cavaliers. “We don’t feel like he quite fully recovered from the ankle, didn’t like the way he was moving the other night. He’s trying to play through it and tough it out but we’re gonna hold him out tonight and we’ll list him as day-to-day.”
Vogel continued on, noting that the ankle is hindering Horton-Tucker’s movement on the court even though he would play through it if the team allowed it.
“Just certain movements, he’s struggling to push off,” Vogel added. “Like I said, he’s trying to tough it out just to be in there for his teammates but you have to make those tough decisions whether he’s healthy enough to help us.”
The Lakers have always erred on the side of caution when it comes to injuries and if Horton-Tucker is not able to be himself on the court, then he could do more harm to the team than good. He may be able to play through the issue, but it’s better for the Lakers and Horton-Tucker himself to make sure he’s back to 100% before getting back on the court.
If the Lakers plan on making a run through the Play-In Tournament and snatching a playoff spot, they are going to need everyone back and healthy. If that means Horton-Tucker has to sit out a couple of extra games, Vogel won’t hesitate to do so.
Horton-Tucker emphasizes Lakers need to lock in from beginning of the game
One of the issues the Lakers have had this season is their inability to start games strong. The Lakers often dig themselves in a major hole and spend most of the game trying to catch up. Horton-Tucker stressed the importance of the Lakers locking in from the beginning moving forward.
“We got to lock-in. Every game is important for us, we realize that,” the Lakers guard said. “So every game that we step out there, we just got to come give it 110%. I feel like if we do that and kind of get out in the beginning of the game and start off good, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
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