Browsing Tag

Larry Nance

Post All-Star Game Offensive Numbers

By: Cranjis McBasketball

 


Closing the Season Strong

In a season without too many W’s in games, the Lakers most important wins this season have come in player development. The young players have made strides under Luke Walton and his staff, and it’s paid off with 3 wins in a row.

To take a look at exactly how the young guys have played since the All-Star break, I’ve listed their offensive points per possession (PPP) and the percentile that PPP places them versus the rest of the NBA for both before and after the break, so we can see the trend each player has taken.

Note: If a player is in the 70th percentile, that means that he’s performed better than 70% of the NBA

As an added bonus, I’ve also included a player comparison that has had that same PPP for this season.


Ivica Zubac

Trend: More Up than Larry on a Dunk

Pre ASG

PPP: 0.900

Percentile: 35th

Comparable Player: Anthony Brown (!?!)

Post ASG

PPP: 1.027

Percentile: 77th

Comparable Player: Paul George


Larry Nance

Trend: Down

Pre ASG

PPP: 0.988

Percentile: 67th

Comparable Player: Kristaps Porzingis

Post ASG

PPP: 0.955

Percentile: 55th

Comparable Player: Jeff Teague


Brandon Ingram

Trend: Up, Up, and Away

Pre ASG

PPP: 0.794

Percentile: 14th

Comparable Player: Chandler Parsons

Post ASG

PPP: 0.953

Percentile: 54th

Comparable Player: Joel Embiid


Julius Randle

Trend: Up

Pre ASG

PPP: 0.878

Percentile: 29th

Comparable Player: D’Angelo Russell

Post ASG

PPP: 0.930

Percentile: 46th

Comparable Player: Russell Westbrook


D’Angelo Russell

Trend: Up

Pre ASG

PPP: 0.864

Percentile: 28th

Comparable Player: Dario Saric

Post ASG

PPP: 0.921

Percentile: 43rd

Comparable Player: Jamal Crawford


Jordan Clarkson

Trend: Slightly Down

Pre ASG

PPP: 0.927

Percentile: 45th

Comparable Player: Devin Booker

Post ASG

PPP: 0.910

Percentile: 38th

Comparable Player: John Wall


Largest PPP Jumps

  1. Brandon Ingram: +0.159
  2. Ivica Zubac: +0.127
  3. D’Angelo Russell: +0.057
  4. Julius Randle: +0.052
  5. Jordan Clarkson: -0.017
  6. Larry Nance: -0.033

 

I’d put the six players into three tiers. Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac have made substantial jumps in efficiency since the All-Star break. D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle have made solid improvements. Unfortunately, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. have regressed.

Let’s hope we can see continued improvement to close the season and this summer. Next season’s record should be vastly improved if next year these young Laker players can build on the progress they’ve made this year.

If each of these six players can perform next season like the better version of themselves between pre and post ASG, we can have a full year of players with the offensive efficiencies of Paul George, Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid, Russell Westbrook, Jamal Crawford, and Devin Booker. That’d be fun.

Larry Nance, Jr. Has Been Sorely Missed

By: Pete Zayas (@LakerFilmRoom)

At best, the term “role player” is a backhanded compliment, and at worst, it’s an outright insult.

It implies that a player may contribute, but only in ancillary ways that aren’t as impactful as what the main characters bring to the table. That delineation is almost invariably determined by scoring ability. Yet, in a sport where the average game has slightly less than 200 possessions, evenly distributed between offense and defense, players without the knack for putting the ball in the hoop on a regular basis can still have a significant impact. Larry Nance, Jr. is one of those players, helping the Lakers win more games with him (39.3% winning percentage) than they do without him (26.3%). And isn’t that ultimately every player’s role?


What the Numbers Say

These three data points, which are reflected by several other metrics of the same ilk, point toward a few simple truths: Larry Nance, Jr. has been the Lakers’ best defender, an efficient (if not prolific) finisher, and one of the best players on the team. A deeper dive into the lineup data reveals his enormous impact on the Lakers bench units.
Notice a pattern here? Almost without fail, the lineups that include Nance play significantly better with him than they do without him. A deeper look into the game tape makes it clear why that is the case.


What the Film Shows

Earlier this season, I took an in depth look at the simple, frenetic brilliance of the Lakers bench, which revealed a straightforward but devastating approach to the offensive end of the floor. Since neither Lou Williams nor Jordan Clarkson are prototypical PGs, Luke Walton chose to primarily stick to ball screens in early offensive situations, allowing his guards to attack without the burden of having to set up the offense. It takes a fairly specific skill set for a front court player to execute and thrive in this style of play. Not only must he be capable of setting quality screens, but he needs to be fast enough to get up court and set them before the defense is set. Furthermore, because it is considerably more difficult to get out and run after the opponent scores, he also needs to be a plus defender. Larry Nance, Jr. is the only player on the Lakers who checks off of each of these boxes, making him integral to the bench’s success.

Drag/Stepup Screens

 

Nance gets up court quickly, seeks out contact on his screens, and is adept at either rolling or popping.

Perimeter Defense

 

Nance leads the Lakers in Steal Rate, which is extremely unusual for a big. He’s capable of wreaking havoc with a quick burst and great motor.

Interior Defense

 

While he’s not a spectacular shot blocker, Nance understands his defensive rotations and moves his feet better than any other Laker big.

Passing Ability

 

Nance is an excellent passer, particularly in the short roll. Here he catches the ball around the free throw line and properly identifies the open man.

Larry Nance, Jr’s, speed, intelligence, defensive versatility, and unselfishness make him a perfect compliment to a bench corps that features aggressive scorers with deficiencies as distributors and perimeter defenders. Prior to his injury, he enhanced the productivity of every bench unit that he played significant minutes with, and there’s not any reason to believe that won’t continue to be the case. It’s good to have him back.

 


 

Pete Zayas, Editor-in-Chief – Pete is a former High School/AAU coach and life long Laker fan who decided to start Laker Film Room on a whim, and is very surprised and grateful that others have joined him for this crazy ride. He produces LFR’s video content, dabbles in writing, and co-hosts the Laker Film Room Podcast with Darius Soriano of Forum Blue & Gold.

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