Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Larry Nance Jr.’s play thus far in 2019-20

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland (left) and Cleveland big Larry Nance Jr. defend. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Grading Nance’s defensive game thus far this season

Nance has also made multiple improvements on defense this season and it has come up clutch on plenty of occasions for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Looking at the statistics, despite Nance’s blocks and steals per game being down from last year, his fouls per game have been almost cut in half compared to last season despite him only playing half a minute less thus far this year.

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Nance’s defensive statistics don’t tell the entire story and his defense is a lot better than what the statistics say it is. Again, March looked to be Nance’s best month defensively.

Despite his position listing him as a big man, Nance had a knack for steals during that month as he would average 2.0 steals per outing in those five games, according to

On defense, Nance does a lot of the “dirty work” and things that wouldn’t show up in really the basic box score.

With his size, Nance can play the power forward position, serve as a small-ball center at times, and play the small forward position if necessary. He is a gritty player that uses his athleticism well on defense.

Moving forward, I would like to see Nance block more shots but this area is not a big cause for concern, although low-post defense can on occasion be an issue against bigger matchups and it can lead to relatively easy looks.

All in all, though, Nance does the things that many people love to see out of a player on defense. He has shown tons of versatility throughout the year and as of now, he may be the Cavaliers’ best perimeter defender.

Granted, the Cavs aren’t exactly loaded in that area, and even so, Nance again does still have some issues against teams with more physical 4’s, and even more so 5’s if he needs to be matched up in those instances. The really good team defensive instincts for Nance are there, though.

Nance’s defensive grade thus far in 2019-20: B-

Lastly, we’ll grade out Nance’s overall play thus far this season.