The Lakers re-signed wing Talen Horton-Tucker to a three-year, $31 million extension this off-season. The annual salary makes him the fourth-highest average paid player on the team — behind the big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook — and he and Anthony Davis are now the only players whose contracts extend past the next two seasons.
Each of these facts reflects how highly the team thinks of Horton-Tucker — in addition to their refusal to include him in a deal for Kyle Lowry that the Toronto Raptors wouldn’t do without his involvement — and that they are counting on him to make the leap from high-potential young player to consistent contributor, with even some rumors that he could be in the mix for the starting lineup this coming season.
However, to make that leap, Horton-Tucker has to significantly improve his jump shooting, which for his career sits below 30% from 3-point range, and less than 20% from between 15-19 feet, according to NBA.com’s shot data.
Horton-Tucker said at Tuesday’s Lakers media day that has been working hard this off-season to get better as a shooter, and is feeling “positive” about where his shot is at.
“Just trying to get the reps in and trust the work that I put in is something that I feel like will go a long way,” Horton-Tucker said. “Just being able to continue to work at it, and I feel like being around the team that we have, playing defense and then me doing that will open up a lot of things for us. It will be helpful.”
In the following video, I went through the film to pinpoint three key issues with his jumper, and how he’s been working on mitigating them, based on the public footage we have available.
As I touched on in the final segment of the video, take these clips and changes with a grain of salt, because shooting in an empty gym with no stress or pressure doesn’t reflect games, and carryover often gets muddied due to those factors. However, there are still some good indicators that Horton-Tucker and the team are working diligently to address his key weaknesses on the jump-shot. If they succeed, it would be big both for his potential upside, and the team’s ceiling.
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.