For the last two seasons Larry Nance Jr. has become a Lakers fan favorite because of his constant hustle plays and jaw-dropping dunks. Nance, however, is constantly working to diversify his game, and in particular, improving his jump shot.
Nance worked hard last off-season on stretching his range and while he certainly improved from his rookie season, he still shot only 27.8 percent from deep. This summer Nance is looking to take another step.
In an interview with Mark Medina of the Southern California News Group, Nance spoke about being tired of being the only guy on the floor incapable of stretching the floor and how an improved shot will help the rest of his game:
“The past couple of years, we’ve had four guys on the court and I’m the one you don’t have to respect too much from 3,” Nance said. “That changes this summer. I’m really looking forward to having guys close out on me. Once you close out on me, then the whole next progressions starts. Then I get my feet down and we get to show them some stuff.”
Nance and Ivica Zubac have both spoken about engaging in shooting contests to help both improve their shot. Nance wasn’t shy about saying he’s dominating that either:
“What competition? That’s not just me talking trash,” Nance said. “Ask any one of our coaches. It’s brutal. He’s not allowed to shoot on my court.”
“When we shoot 11 spots and he gets beat in all of them, you’re not allowed back,” Nance said. “Until he redeems himself, he’s not allowed at my basket.”
With Luke Walton’s offensive system, the more spacing on the floor the better and having bigs who can step out and knock down the three makes things better for everyone. Nance already does so many things for the Lakers when he’s on the floor, if he can knock down the three consistently it will take his game to another level.
The Lakers have a crowded frontcourt with Brook Lopez, Julius Randle, Ivica Zubac, Luol Deng, and rookie Kyle Kuzma all vying for minutes. Nance will only further his case for more minutes if his jumper is at another level once the season begins.