The Los Angeles Lakers are ready to return from their Thanksgiving weekend layover at full strength. Larry Nance Jr. is expected to return to the Lakers’ rotation when they “visit” the LA Clippers Monday, a welcome boost after Nance Jr. suffered a broken hand in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers a few weeks ago.
It was initially projected that Nance Jr. would be out four-to-six weeks while recovering from the hand injury, meaning he’s slightly ahead of schedule should he play against the Clippers. Kyle Kuzma has been holding down the starting power forward position in his absence, though Walton told media that he “doesn’t seen any reason” not to run Leaping Larry with the front-five upon returning.
Bringing Nance Jr. back into the fold is certainly a boost for the Lakers, who’ve won two of their last three and have a tough December in front of them. The Lakers somehow play both the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets three teams in December, and a four-game road trip in the middle of the month only adds to what could be a reality check for the purple and gold.
Nance Jr. gives Coach Luke additional frontcourt depth and options, which certainly helps. Larry is also one of seven Lakers averaging double-digit scoring on the season, and he leads the team in efficiency at 61.4 percent. The man picks his spots, for sure.
Keep an eye on how the rotation shakes out with Nance Jr. ready to lace ‘em up. Both Julius Randle and Kuzma have done well with the extra minutes on the table for them in the past several weeks, but something will have to give with Larry ready to roll.