The finish to the 2016-17 season for the Los Angeles Lakers brought with it much excitement about the team. The team began clicking in a way it hadn’t since the beginning of the season and, as a result, more wins came.
Part of the optimism gained from that included the likes of Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. expanding their games to the three-point line. Across the final 18 games, Nance hit eight three-pointers on 22 attempts while Randle went 11-for-35 in the same time frame.
With an off-season now focused on improvement, it sounds like Nance has continued to focus on extending his range.
On the latest podcast with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Nance talked about what the front office has asked him to work on this summer.
“They really want me to stretch the floor next year, so that’s what I’m working on all summer, just that three-point jump shot. Now that we drafted Lonzo, they want me kind of filling that James Worthy role. Sprinting up the sideline, being athletic, playing on the wing and hopefully adding some more posters to my resume.”
Nance also talked about what his workouts this summer have been like and where else he’s focusing on improving his game.
“I’ve been out in L.A. since the season ended. I took a week vacation back to Ohio if that qualifies as a vacation. But I’ve been out here working on a multitude of different things, whether it be my ball-handling so I can take it off the rim and push it up the court and make plays for our guys or the three-point shot. My conditioning, like being able to play that wing spot and get up and down and run with Lonzo and Brandon and guys that like, it’s going to take being in incredible shape so I’ve been (at) beach workouts and running hills and stuff like that just trying to make sure my body’s right and I’m staying in shape. It’s been a multitude of different things, but at the same time it’s just being in the gym that’s the most important.”
Like Nance, Randle has been in the gym working out and turning into the Incredible Hulk. Nance spoke on that and on working out with Randle this off-season.
“He looks great, super strong in those pictures. We got to work together a little bit on the court. But he’s got his special recipe that he follows and it looks like it’s working. We see him in the gym and he’s working on a lot of the same stuff that I am: jump shot, and just improving his overall game just like we all are. He’s another one of those guys I’m really excited to get back in the gym with and start to figure out how we can all play together in positionless basketball that’s kind of performing around the league.”
With the Lakers’ new regime clearly focusing on more modern, positionless basketball with more shooting and passing, this is encouraging to say the least.
For Nance and Randle, developing a three-pointer and potential stretch four or stretch five skills could lead to not only more time on the court, but a more productive Laker offense, especially with the arrival of Lonzo Ball.