Cleveland Cavaliers: Three handoff pairings to watch in 2020-21

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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Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. reacts in-game. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Key handoff pairing #2 to watch for the Cleveland Cavaliers: Porter-Nance

Porter and Nance are two pieces that I’d expect to still come off the bench, at least for now, in most instances next season for the Cavaliers. Even with that being the case, though, both will feasibly play more than half of games often anyway.

The two-man game between them seemed to have a budding chemistry as last season wore on, and I expect them to have really productive handoffs in some instances in games. Porter didn’t have much productivity on handoffs in year 1, but I’d expect that to change with him in a bigger on-ball role. Although he still had 10.0 points per outing as a rookie bench contributor.

In this case, in particular, that could be aided by Nance, a very effective screener, and that plays into the handoff game, and with KPJ’s explosiveness, he should be get right into drives to the basket after those from Nance.

From there, with Porter’s finishing touch with both hands, ability to finish through contact/with authority and with his passing ability, he could definitely hit Nance rolling after making those initial drop-offs.

Porter, who had 2.2 assists per game and had an assist rate of 17.1 percent in his last 12 games active of 2019-20, is a good passer for a score-first perimeter player, and Nance is such a gifted athlete that finishes especially well near the rim. That should lead to plenty of baskets after rolls following handoffs to Porter.

It’s not just the rolling aspect with Nance in this sense with KPJ, though. Porter is again a more than willing and able passer, and with Nance hitting a career-high 35.2 percent of his three-point attempts in 2019-20, he could get some pick-and-pop looks in these situations, and knock a fair amount of those down.

Every now and again, with Nance’s vastly improved handle, he could occasionally fake a handoff to Porter, and go into a drive and hit a cutter or look to the opposite corner, for say Windler or Collin Sexton, for a quality look if that’s there. As Cavs fans know, Nance, who though he had a career-high 10.1 points per game in 2019-20, is a gifted passer in his own right.

Lastly, the third handoff pairing to watch for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2020-21 involves two potential knockdown shooters.