Right as Larry Nance Jr. was beginning to find his groove as the Los Angeles Lakers starter at power forward, he injured his knee against the Utah Jazz and has missed the past four games.
Nance had been one of the team’s best defenders and rebounders and his absence has really been felt as the Lakers have been blown out seemingly every night.
It now looks as if Nance is set to return as head coach Byron Scott expects Nance to return in Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks via the Los Angeles Lakers Twitter page:
Byron Scott says that Larry Nance Jr. will probably return to the starting lineup tomorrow.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 25, 2016
Scott has always maintained that Nance would remain a starter once he returns and that seems to be the case despite Randle’s solid play in his absence. Regardless of who starts, Nance’s return is huge for the rotation as he has been far more effective than Ryan Kelly, who had picked up the spare minutes while Nance was out.
Nance remains one of the team’s best defenders, both on the ball and in help situations. The Lakers defense likely won’t make any major leaps, but he is still an upgrade and a valuable piece for the rotation and the future of the team.
The Lakers can not afford any major injuries to any of their core pieces, so Nance coming back is a good sign all around. He will be able to continue his development and hopefully Scott will continue to experiment with lineups featuring both Nance and Randle.