When Las Vegas Summer League kicked off last season, the rookie Los Angeles Lakers fans were unquestionably most excited to see was (understandably) second overall pick D’Angelo Russell. Anticipation among a purple and gold skewed crowd was at peak levels, with so much demand to see the Lakers and their new rookie the Thomas and Mack Center had to open up the upper bowl of the arena, an unheard of event for a simple summer league game.
Amidst nagging injuries, inexperience, and some of the most poorly run offense anyone has ever seen from a professional basketball team that enthusiasm fizzled over the Lakers time in Sin City. However, the disappointing summer squad still had a few notable ups, with arguably the biggest being Larry Nance, Jr.’s breakout game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Nance, Jr. nearly brought the house down in that game, with fans chanting his name to bring him back into a freaking summer league game, and it sounds like the now-sophomore forward is hoping to approximate some of the highlight reel fodder he produced in his last Las Vegas go ‘round
“I’d like to see myself on SportsCenter a few times,” Nance told Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News in reference to the posters he’s known for putting players on. While that may not be much of a change from what Lakers fans have grown to expect from him, it sounds like at least one part of his game has received a major overhaul this offseason:
“You’ll see more 3’s from me,” Nance said.
“It’s something I always knew I could do and can do. But it’s a matter of shooting in practice and in games,” Nance said. “That’s what I’m trying to simulate and get used to.”
Nance, Jr., shot just 10 percent on three-pointers last season, but considering he only shot 10 threes the whole season it’s kind of hard to draw sweeping conclusions about his ability to launch from deep. His mid-range shot looked competent last season, and if Nance, Jr. could stretch his touch out a few more feet it would not only help the Lakers’ offense but raise his own ceiling as a player as well.
That kind of range could also allow him chances to pump fake and drive a bit if defenders scramble at him, which might help fulfill his goals of ending up on Sportscenter after all.