Larry Nance Jr. has often been referred to as the Los Angeles Lakers’ highest IQ player of the last couple of seasons. Regardless of what his statistics are, Nance always seems to make the right plays and has an impact on the game.
He is mostly known for his highlight-reel dunks and excellent defensive plays, but one underrated part of his game is his passing ability. Nance has good court vision and is a willing passer, always looking to get his teammates involved.
This was on display during an early season game against the Chicago Bulls as Nance made an excellent pass to fellow big Tarik Black. The NBA recently released a YouTube video highlighting the best assists for each team during the 2016-17 season and Nance’s play that night got the nod for the Lakers.
The play itself showed off Nance’s athleticism, court vision, and basketball IQ. After setting a screen for Lou Williams, Nance rolled to the basket as Williams threw him an extremely high lob pass.
Realizing he was too far away from the basket to slam it down, and noticing that Bulls big man Taj Gibson had already rotated over to him, Nance immediately tipped the ball to a wide open Tarik Black who threw down the easy dunk.
Magic Johnson recently called Nance the Lakers ‘secret weapon’ precisely for reasons like this. While it was a simple play, the recognition of the defensive rotation and even deciding to tip the ball instead of catching and passing was outstanding.
With a new season just around the corner Nance has been hard at work looking to improve himself and make a big impact as the Lakers hope to make a big leap this season.