Larry Nance Jr. is heading into his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers after an impressive showing in his rookie campaign. No one knew quite what to expect from the Wyoming product and son of a former NBA star, but he’s quickly becoming a household name in Los Angeles.
Nance has made so much progress up to this point that he’s making a strong case to be a starter. Nance recently spoke with Shahan Ahmed of NBCLA.com about his rookie season and how he’s become more comfortable this year.
“Last year, I came in and really just kind of didn’t want to mess up. That was my biggest and only worry, like ‘Go in and go play Larry, just don’t mess up,'” Nance shares his inner dialogue, almost embarrassed. “Now I have a little bit more freedom and I feel a little bit more comfortable making decisions and making plays on my own for other guys. I think it’s just a different level of confidence. I shot a three the other day. I can bring the ball up the court.”
With the preseason now in full swing with two games in the books for the Lakers, one of the many storylines is Nance competing with Julius Randle for the starting spot at power forward. Nance has expanded his game over the summer showing an ability to shoot from beyond the arc. Obviously, with the offense Luke Walton is trying to implement, Nance shooting consistently well may give him an advantage over Randle if the third-year forward can’t do the same.
Walton has admitted nothing is set in stone regarding the Lakers lineup. The first-year head coach will continue to feel things out during the preseason which gets back underway for Nance and the Lakers on Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets at Citizens Bank Arena.