Cavs: Adding a floater would help Larry Nance Jr. round out his game

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) /

Larry Nance Jr. has come a long way offensively, but adding a floater could help him round out his game on that end in the scoring sense for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I applaud Larry Nance Jr. for the progression he’s shown in his last two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Nance will always be a good roller/screener on and off-ball, and I don’t discount that, and Nance is one of the Cavs’ best defenders that really helps out in the team sense, too.

That always helps other players such as Collin Sexton, Kevin Love, Cedi Osman and Kevin Porter Jr., but in terms of his scoring/on-ball play, that’s grown considerably for Nance.

In the last two seasons for Cleveland, Nance has had career-bests in scoring with 9.4 and 10.1 points per game, and he continues to get better as a catch-and-shoot three-point shooter.

Last season and the year prior, the same held true for Nance from distance. In 2018-19, in his first season attempting them regularly, Nance hit a fairly respectable 33.7 percent from deep, especially with his presence as a roller.

In 2019-20, he then followed that up really well, as he hit 35.2 percent from three-point land on also a career-best 2.8 attempts per outing. Again, his progression in the spot-up game has been great to see.

As last season wore on, Nance showed more viability as an occasional post-up player, too, and while the frequency was only 7.9 percent, he did place in the 92nd percentile on post-ups, per Synergy Sports.

With Nance showing he is capable of playing the 3 position at times post-All-Star break after J.B. Bickerstaff took over the head coaching reigns, Nance was able to take advantage of often smaller natural 3’s guarding him. That helped him get quality looks, and he showed nice touch on fadeaways in the paint over those players, or simply shot over them.

For Nance to help round out his scoring toolbox, though, I still would like to see him occasionally hit pull-ups at times, just to further help him as a driver, and make him even more effective as a passer at the elbows/high post.

Along with that, however, and whether or not Nance can develop a pull-up game, him adding a floater would aid in rounding out his game as a scorer for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nance has good finishing touch as a cutter, is a heck of a lob threat that can finish with authority after beating slower bigs, and has an improved handle that only makes him more as a playmaker.

Again, though, I’d like to see Nance show some viability on floaters at times to help him become more well-rounded.

More from King James Gospel

He’s done a terrific job of working tirelessly to make himself into a respectable three-point shooter off-the-catch, and that’s evident; in his last 25 games this past season, he also hit 37.0 percent from downtown.

It’s clear that Nance, who had 2.2 assists per outing last season and had 3.0 dimes per game in his last 25 games of 2019-20, is a highly capable secondary playmaker for a big for the Cleveland Cavaliers, too.

For him to become more well-rounded as a scorer, though, adding more presence in the floater game could lead to even more high percentage opportunities for him near the rim.

Nance attempted only two driving floaters last season, and seven standard floaters, and made two of those combined, per’s shooting data.

While it’s not as if Nance doesn’t help in a variety of ways offensively, which includes offensive rebounding/putbacks, him adding a floater could be another quality tool to have in his scoring arsenal going forward. That’s even with the volume likely not being high compared to other shots for him.

If Nance were able to add a floater he could go to at times, that’d allow him to again take advantage of smaller defenders by shooting that over them and before rotators come to him closer to the rim.

Also, on the other end of the spectrum, with nice often quicker than his primary defenders, that could make them cheat to that more, and in turn, give Nance a half step in getting to the rack, if he’s being defended by players that are naturally more so bigger 4’s/5’s.

From there, Nance could find ball reversal opportunities if help comes from wings, and/or find a cutting Porter or perhaps, with him hopefully being healthier next season/beyond, Dylan Windler.

So again, looking at 2020-21, it’d pay off for Nance to show he can hit floaters on occasion, which would only help him in the paint. With the way he’s progressed as a catch-and-shoot perimeter player and with his better handle, a floater could only aid Nance in rounding out his offensive game in the scoring sense.

Next. Larry Nance Jr. is the Cavs' most important bench player for 2020-21. dark

That’d help him in feasibly some minutes at the 3 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, too.