Los Angeles Lakers power forward Larry Nance Jr. had something of a disappointing preseason. While his defense and rebounding were fine, he still lacked aggression on offense, consistently passing up open shots.
Friday’s preseason game was another sign of that. Nance took only four shots in 21 minutes, finishing with just four points, but also added seven rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
Nance is very hard on himself which can sometimes be a bad thing as head coach Luke Walton spoke about after Friday’s game. Walton said that Nance must do a better job of controlling his emotions via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Luke said Nance is really hard on himself & one of the things he needs to get better at is "controlling his emotions to give us energy."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 14, 2017
Players being their own biggest critic is very normal as they must never become content with where they are at and always look to get better. The negative side of that is when it begins to affect play because they lose confidence.
This especially shows itself with Nance’s offense as, at times, it looks as if he just refuses to shoot. While he doesn’t need to be an offensive force he must be a threat, otherwise it will begin affecting the rest of the Lakers players on offense as teams simply won’t guard him.
Nance admitted that he must get better at trying to make plays to make up for mistakes, rather than just dwelling on them and getting mad at himself.
Nance could very well be the starter at power forward for the Lakers when the regular season opens up on Thursday. With Julius Randle now an injury concern, the Lakers will need Nance at his best if they plan on starting off the season on a high note.