The Los Angeles Lakers have utilized a number of different rotations this season, but it appears that they are about to revert to the one that they started the year with now that Larry Nance Jr. is poised to return from injury.
Nance broke his hand back at the beginning of November, which called for at least a one-month recovery and up to six weeks. But, he healed quickly and is seemingly set to start Monday night against the Clippers. In turn, it looks like it will cost Kyle Kuzma his starting job.
Harrison Faigen was at Lakers practice on Saturday when head coach Luke Walton revealed the news, and Faigen joined LN News Feed host Trevor Lane to provide an in-depth breakdown of what the domino effect will be from this shift.
While Nance certainly played well in his time as a starter and brings serious defensive chops to the team, Kuzma has become the Lakers’ leading scorer and done an admirable job fitting in with the starting five.
Furthermore, Kuzma is considered to be the player with more upside and given his chemistry with rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, some are questioning Walton’s hinting that Nance would immediately be placed back in the starting lineup.
However, as Faigen and Lane explain, the Lakers could see an across-the-board benefit by allowing Nance to help shore up the starting five’s rebounding and defense while allowing Kuzma to join Randle off the bench, giving the second unit the scoring punch that they need.
Additionally, Randle and Nance have not always meshed well, which provides for a little extra incentive to keep them separated. Meanwhile, in theory, Nance and Lopez and Kuzma and Randle make potent pairings.
Still, the decision to slide Kuzma, who has been an absolute revelation this season, to the bench is going to be a controversial one. Simply click the player above to listen to our full break down of the move.
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