Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker is yet to find offensive consistency in his third NBA season, suffering a dip in form after a strong display in his first games of the 2021-21 campaign.
Horton-Tucker put up two 20-plus performances upon his return from a thumb injury, scoring a career-high 28 points in a November loss to the Chicago Bulls.
But since then, he’s yet to have a game marked by a similar quality of play. Horton-Tucker’s 3-point shooting has been particularly underwhelming. The Iowa State alum’s 23.4% from beyond the arc is the guard’s career-low — and it showed in the recent 108-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns, which he ended 1-for-13 from downtown.
But Russell Westbrook has no doubts Horton-Tucker will eventually come out of his slump.
“He’s gonna be fine,” Westbrook said after the game against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. “He’s a great talent, he will figure it out and get his wind back. He will be fine, I’m not worried about THT at all.”
The Lakers’ veterans have been supporting Horton-Tucker throughout the season. Anthony Davis recently asked to give the 21-year-old more time to come back to his best not long ago, saying it would take time for the guard to regain his rhythm on offense after spending two months on the sidelines.
Horton-Tucker opens up on mental struggle while in COVID-19 protocols
The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in the NBA forced Horton-Tucker to take another break from basketball recently. The guard missed three games due to entering the league’s health and safety protocols before making his return for the clash against the Suns.
Horton-Tucker said he felt fine physically having tested positive for the coronavirus. However, he admitted feeling anxious due to contracting the virus.
“For me it was more mental I feel like,” Horton-Tucker said.
“I really didn’t feel too much but knowing that you have Covid, I feel like every person in their right mind would kind of be a little nervous after that.
“But I feel like for me it was more mental than anything. The symptoms weren’t really something that affected me like that, but just being off and mentally being away from the game is something that is not really good for me. But it was an experience that I kind of needed.”
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