Cavs: Revisiting stats predictions for Kevin Porter Jr., Larry Nance Jr. and Matthew Dellavedova

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. drops the ball off to Cleveland wing Kevin Porter Jr. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. drops the ball off to Cleveland wing Kevin Porter Jr. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. shoots. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Revisiting my 2019-20 stats predictions for Nance

My predictions: 8.8 PPG on 60.1 percent true shooting, 7.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 25.5 MPG and 74 games active

Nance’s 2019-20 stats thus far: 10.1 PPG on 60.8 percent true shooting, 7.3 RPG, 2.2 APG, 26.3 MPG and 56 games active

Looking at my projections for Nance, I’ve been a bit off in regards to his scoring and secondary playmaking.

Where I’ve been off the mark: Scoring/secondary playmaking

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Nance is the Cavs’ most versatile big man on their roster currently, and it’s been a pleasure to see him continue to progress as a catch-and-shoot three-point shooter.

Moreover, Nance at this point is on track for a career-high again in points with 10.1 per game thus far, along with three-point shooting volume and efficiency at 2.8 attempts per outing and a hit rate of 35.2 percent, as noted by Basketball Reference.

He’s also had those aforementioned 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest, to go with 1.0 steals. Plus, post-All-Star break, while also displaying he could fill in in some matchups as a 3 for Bickerstaff, Nance had been posting 12.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

So looking back, I’d say I was a bit off the mark when it comes to Nance’s scoring. Plus, though he had been utilized more so since about February as a secondary playmaker, which is something he does really well, Nance for much of the first half of the year under Beilein wasn’t featured as a passing big nearly as much.

I would’ve thought he’d be more in that realm, and I was again, off on that prediction, too. Hopefully, we see Nance featured more and more in coming years as a passer at the elbows/on the wing for Bickerstaff, though, and Jr. has shown he’s a much-improved grab-and-go threat.

So where have I hit on the Nance predictions then?

Where I’ve hit: Efficiency, rebounding and minutes

Nance has always been a very active rebounder on both ends of the floor, and while he’s much more than just an energy big, it’s no secret that gives the Cavs pop when he’s in there for them.

Nance has put up just about the rebounding numbers I thought he would coming into the season at 7.3 per outing, and while he’s only listed at 6-foot-7, he plays bigger than that in terms of his role on the glass (and sets great screens/hand-offs, too). Nance is always a putback threat as well, and his hustle and tenacity there often times gives Cleveland a lift.

The other areas I would say I’ve hit on with the Nance prediction was his true shooting rate/efficiency, where he’s had a clip of 60.8 percent thus far, and that’s on track for a career-high. With him showcasing that three-point shooting capability last season, though, me hitting there, with his finishing power inside, is not a huge deal.

Jr. is generally going to be efficient as a shooter overall, though, and in coming years, hopefully we see him keep progressing with his post game, which has been a nice wrinkle to see, too, especially when he’s been at the 3 on occasion.

Lastly, the minutes workload was about right for me for Jr., who is always one of, if not the first player off the bench for the Cavaliers. In coming years, we may see him play more, too, but he realistically, he is prone to missing games each season, as evidenced by last season, where he appeared in 67 games, being his highest number of appearances thus far in his near-five-year career.

So moving on, we’ll revisit my stats predictions for Dellavedova.