The Los Angeles Lakes officially begin the 2017-18 season with a home contest against the Los Angeles Clippers. Before the contest, Larry Nance Jr. hinted at what could be very surprising Lakers news.
Larry Nance Jr. is a pretty good role player. With explosive athleticism and awe-inspiring dunking skills, the third-year power forward is a great option to play behind Julius Randle. Nance is not suitable to start in the NBA, at least not yet; he is far too green. Despite that, Nance hinted at what could be the most surprising Lakers news in the beginning of the season.
Nance has seemingly been a favorite of head coach Luke Walton for quite some time now. In the preseason, Nance saw plenty of court time alongside starting center Brook Lopez, perhaps signaling the two could form their out tandem. This is most likely due to injury concerns around Julius Randle.
However, there is also a realistic chance that Randle could see significant time on the court in the season opener. At this point, everything seems to be up in the air. Although, Nance gave fans some serious hints in starting the Lakers opening contest Thursday night.
When speaking to the media, Nance said some key things that stood out amongst others, including a matchup against a Clippers star.
"“If it goes through Blake (Griffin), take away his passing lanes and stuff like that. Try to make him more of a one-dimensional player.”"
Not only did Nance discuss a potential matchup against Blake Griffin, he also inserted himself in offensive scenarios alongside other Lakers’ starters.
"“I’m not the first option (…) We’re going to get the ball to Brook (Lopez), but he’s going to kill guys as soon as he starts doing that, and that opens it up for everyone else (…) that opens it up for (Brandon Ingram) to drive, Lonzo (Ball) to get his shot off”"
At this point, it seems clear; Larry Nance Jr. is going to be the starting power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers in their first game. This could be signaling that Randle’s injury is more serious than initially thought. Regardless, it is a massive mistake.
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The Los Angeles Lakers have a massive star in the making in Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma’s recent performance has been the hottest topic of recent Lakers news. Although Kuzma may be green, he gives the Lakers the best chance to win in the starting lineup.
Plus, this gives the Lakers the perfect avenue to expose Kuzma to the basketball world and see if he really has what it takes. Starting Kuzma over Randle or Brandon Ingram would be a huge mistake. now, with Randle out, the Lakers can justify their decision in starting Kuzma.
Then, he sinks or he swims. If he swims, then great, the Lakers have a young superstar on their hands. If he sinks, this experiment could be looked at as a short-term replacement to Randle while Kuzma goes back to the bench to hone his craft.
Regardless, Nance’s name should not even be in the discussion for the starting lineup. As explosive and athletic as he may be, he easily is the third most talented power forward on the roster. His 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the preseason showed that.
At the end of the day, this potential Lakers news that Nance may be the starting power forward is not good for the Los Angeles Lakers. Let’s just hope that the team recognizes its mistake before it is too late.