Cavs: It’s fair to expect continued three-point shooting growth from Larry Nance Jr.

Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Love (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Love (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Larry Nance Jr. has continued to show growth offensively throughout the last two seasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It’s been a pleasure to see Larry Nance Jr. develop more on the offensive end in the past two years with the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2018-19, while Kevin Love only being active in 22 games had some to do with it, Nance took on more of a secondary playmaking role, and had 3.2 assists per game, which is a career-best.

In that season, it was nice to see Nance establish himself as a catch-and-shoot threat from three-point range, too, and Nance hit 33.7 percent from beyond the arc in his first season taking those looks fairly regularly.

He had a then-career-best 9.4 points per game in 2018-19 as well, and this now-past season for the Cavs, Nance had a career-high with 10.1 points per outing, and also took further strides from deep as he hit 35.2 percent from three-point land.

Plus, with Nance’s improved handle, that helped him more so in the post in 2019-20, too, and it was encouraging that Nance actually proved to be a viable 3 man option, especially with that improved handle, at times for Cleveland post-All-Star break.

Swinging back to the perimeter game in this case, though, I’d expect Nance to show further growth in 2020-21 for the Cleveland Cavaliers from three-point range.

The triples still are crucial for Nance, in any case, as that viability will only make him more capable as a playmaker with bigs having to honor that from him. As a catch-and-shoot player, and feasibly have near his 2.8 deep attempts per game in 2019-20, I believe it’s fair to think Nance will show continued growth for Cleveland in 2020-21.

Nance hit a rough patch from deep in December this now-past season, in which he hit only 23.3 percent of his triple attempts, but much of the rest of the way, in which he was more so involved on-ball/as a playmaker, too, he was more in-rhythm.

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That seemingly played a role in Jr. closing out his season strong from deep, too. He hit 37.0 percent from beyond the arc in what would be his last 25 games leading into the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus and ultimately the end of 2019-20 for Cleveland.

Frankly, from a catch-and-shoot perspective, with Nance set to be more experienced in playing with Kevin Porter Jr., Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Darius Garland, to an extent, I see it as fair to believe we’ll see more of a positive trend from deep for Jr. in 2020-21.

I’d imagine that’d lead to him hitting realistically in the ball park of 36.8 percent from deep, and further taking advantage of ball-swings leading to him after drive-and-kicks from KPJ and Garland.

In some stretches, Nance alongside Andre Drummond, who fully intends to pick up his $28.8 million player option and will be back with the Cavs, could lead to Nance getting quality looks after feeds from Drummond after opponents look to double him, too. That’d be presumably with three key shooters on the floor with Nance-Drummond, for context.

The same could come at times more so after taking advantage of spacing created from Love, who is a knockdown shooter, but also is a willing passer that has a budding chemistry with Nance as well.

Nance was again in a good perimeter shooting groove off-the-catch leading into the hiatus, and on the season, he hit 37.6 percent on catch-and-shoot three-point attempts, per’s shot tracking data. Moreover, Nance placed pretty well on spot-ups, as he placed in the 66th percentile in 2019-20 in that playtype, per Synergy Sports.

So overall, when looking at next season and how Nance has continually shown growth as a catch-and-shoot player, I see it as being fair to expect him to show further growth from deep in 2020-21.

I’d imagine the shooting/off-movement shooting presence of Dylan Windler, who has quality secondary playmaking instincts, should only aid Nance from a shooting perspective, too. That’s if Windler is mostly healthy, and I’d think he will be, as he is reportedly progressing well in his rehab after complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg that caused him to miss all of 2019-20.

Anyhow, in 2020-21, considering his development as a perimeter shooting threat these past two seasons, and factoring in the on-ball presence of the likes of KPJ, Love and Windler’s shooting presence on the floor with him likely often next season, I’d expect Nance to have a three-point shooting clip of 36.8-ish percent.

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That’d be nice if that were the case at about three attempts per game, too, with how Nance is such a good passing big, lob threat, screener, rebounder and team defender.