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2019-20 Preseason Profile: Larry Nance Jr.

Emerging Forward Seeks to Build Off Career Year
by Joe Gabriele Beat Writer

2019-20 Preseason Profile:
Larry Nance Jr.

Emerging Forward Seeks to Build Off Career Year

Cleveland sports fans love nothing more than an athlete who “gets us.” And no Cavalier understands this better than Larry Nance Jr. – who’s one of us.

Nance understands the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat that comes with being a Clevelander. That’s why he takes his and his team’s improvement so personally.

Nobody on the roster spent more offseason time honing his game at Cleveland Clinic Courts than Nance – a fixture in Independence over the summer. As he did over his four-year career at Wyoming, he’s gotten incrementally better in each of his four NBA seasons – showing marked improvement in all major categories.

Taken No. 27 overall by the Lakers in 2015, Nance was dealt to his hometown team – along with Jordan Clarkson – at the 2018 Trade Deadline, with the Wine & Gold shipping Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a first rounder that turned out to be Moritz Wagner to the Lakers. (Thomas has played in 29 total games since the trade, Frye retired after his final season with Cleveland and Wagner was shipped to the Wizards this summer.)

The scion of a local legend, Nance has dealt with the barrage of questions about his father, and has handled the pressure of that lineage with aplomb. He’s not the shot-blocker that his father was, but he definitely emerged as one of Cleveland’s best defenders in his year-and-a-half with the club – leading the Cavs in both blocks (40) and steals (100).

Nance appeared at All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles in 2018, finishing second in the Slam Dunk Contest. And he’d love nothing more than to represent the Wine & Gold when the midseason classic comes to Cleveland in 2022. He’s done nothing but improve over his first four years in the Association, and the work he’s put in over the summer indicates another leap in 2019-20.

A fan and media favorite, Nance is also one of the team’s best guys and an outstanding ambassador for the franchise and city.

Already having put plenty of time in at CCC, there’s absolutely no doubt that he’ll be ready to go when Training Camp tips off in just over a week.

With a new coaching staff this year, Larry Nance Jr. will be looked to for veteran production and leadership.
Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images

LOOKING BACK -- It’s no secret that the Wine & Gold limped to the finish line last year, dropping 13 of their final 15 contests. But that didn’t mean that some of their young guns – like Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson and Nance – didn’t have strong finishes to a frustrating season.

Nance sprinted to the finish – grabbing at least 10 boards in the final seven games of the campaign – averaging a double-double over that span (10.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.9 spg).

Overall, he put up career-best numbers in points (9.4), rebounds (8.2) and assists (3.2). Defensively, Nance was strong all season – averaging 1.9 steals per contest – good enough for 15th in the NBA. He grabbed at least one steal in 15 straight games, tallying 33 overall and swiping at least two in 11 of those tilts.

Matthew Dellavedova led the squad in assists at 4.2 per contest, with Nance right behind. As the year progressed, Coach Larry Drew even began running some of the offense through his power forward, who emerged as the team’s best passer with Delly on the shelf. He handed out a career-best seven assists on six occasions.

Kevin Love’s injury early in the season opened the door for Nance’s career year, and he followed closely in Love’s footsteps in terms of double-doubles – doubling up in a career-best 18 games, including a six-game stretch just before the All-Star Break.

And while the Cavaliers didn’t post a bunch of dramatic wins this past season, Nance was responsible for one of the team’s best closing moments – scoring on a tip-in to the beat the buzzer (and the Pacers) in a 92-91 thriller in Indiana on December 18.

BY THE NUMBERS: 45 … years that have passed since a player posted a night like Nance did against Atlanta on December 29 last year – finishing with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with a career-high-tying 15 boards, seven assists and four steals.

He became the first player since steals have been tracked to put up at least 18 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and an .875 field goal percentage in a single game.

LOOKING AHEAD -- Nance has been preparing for the upcoming season almost immediately after last season wrapped up. He’s been one of Cleveland’s hardest workers over the offseason and will look to build upon his career year in 2018-19.

Cleveland’s new coaching staff will need some young veterans to channel their message through. And the Cavaliers group of youngsters will need a young veteran to learn the league’s ins and outs. Nance is the ideal man for both jobs.

In his first full season with the Wine & Gold, Nance emerged as both a team leader and an emerging force at power forward. Already one of the club’s most versatile players, look for him to take a step forward from beyond the arc this season – and to continue his ascension within the league and organization in 2019-20.

#CavsCeltics Postgame: Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Sunday’s loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

Nance Player Preview

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#CavsCeltics Postgame: Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Sunday’s loss to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Oct 13, 2019  |  03:02

Larry Nance Jr. Throws the Hammer Down

Larry Nance Jr. throws down a big dunk in the second quarter of Sunday's game in Boston.
Oct 13, 2019  |  00:10

Darius Garland Oops Larry Nance Jr.

Larry Nance Jr. throws the hammer down following a nice toss by Darius Garland.
Oct 11, 2019  |  00:09

Cavs Talk Shoes on #NationalSneakerDay

In honor of National Sneaker Day, some Cavs players sat down and talked their favorite kicks.
Oct 9, 2019  |  01:02

#CavsSanLorenzo Postgame: Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Monday’s 120-89 win over San Lorenzo de Almagro at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Oct 7, 2019  |  02:21

Delly Oops Nance in Second Quarter

Matthew Dellavedova tosses a beautiful alley-oop to Larry Nance Jr. who throws it down with authority.
Oct 7, 2019  |  00:09

Training Camp Day 5: Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Saturday's Day 5 of Training Camp at Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Oct 5, 2019  |  06:16

Cavs Remember Their Craziest Hairstyles

For National Hair Day on October 1, the Wine & Gold talked about some of the craziest hairstyles they had growing up.
Oct 1, 2019  |  01:10

Larry Nance Jr. 2019 Media Day Availability

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media at 2019 Media Day powered by FirstEnergy from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Sep 30, 2019  |  13:02

Back By Popular Demand

Yep, we’re bringing it back … 'classic' is new again. Our retro 90s uniform is making a comeback this upcoming season.
Aug 28, 2019  |  01:00

DRIVEN: Koby Altman | EP 3: 'Chances to Grow'

General Manager Koby Altman grants exclusive access into the Wine & Gold's offseason in the final episode of this three-part series, presented by Goodyear.
Aug 23, 2019  |  03:41

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Cavs basketball is coming soon! Get your single game tickets now by visiting
Aug 16, 2019  |  00:30

Larry Nance Jr. Checks in from Vegas's Fred McLeod caught up with Cavaliers forward/center Larry Nance Jr. in Las Vegas.
Jul 11, 2019  |  02:51

Making an Impact in the Community

The Cavaliers are committed to making a championship-caliber impact in our community.
Jul 8, 2019  |  00:30

Like Father, Like Son

As we get ready to celebrate Father's Day, take an in-depth look into the Wine & Gold's dynamic father/son duo, Larry Nance Sr. and Jr.
Jun 15, 2019  |  07:37

Beilein, Altman and Players Surprise Young Hoopers

Watch as GM Koby Altman, Head Coach John Beilein, and Cavs players surprise youngsters at the Cavs Academy Summer Camp.
Jun 14, 2019  |  01:28

Top Assists of the Year Presented By State Farm

Check out's Assists of the Year presented by State Farm.
Jun 3, 2019  |  00:58

Larry Nance Jr. 2018-19 Highlights

Check out some of the best plays from Larry Nance Jr.’s 2018-19 campaign with the Wine & Gold.
Apr 29, 2019  |  03:00

Good Luck Monsters!

Light The Land, Cleveland! Members of the Wine & Gold wish the Cleveland Monsters good luck as they battle it out in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Apr 23, 2019  |  00:22

Top Plays of 2018-19 presented by Lexus

From clutch shots to posterizing dunks, has your best moments from the 2018-19 campaign.
Apr 12, 2019  |  12:38

Thank You Fans!

Members of the Wine & Gold thank the best fans in the NBA for all their support throughout the 2018-19 season.
Apr 10, 2019  |  00:39

#CavsHornets Postgame: Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers forward/center Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Tuesday’s loss to the Charlotte Hornets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Apr 9, 2019  |  05:00

Cavs Gift Jerseys and Shoes to Wine & Gold Nation

Lucky members of Wine & Gold Nation got to join the Cavaliers on the court following Tuesday's Fan Appreciation Night to receive the game-worn jerseys and shoes.
Apr 9, 2019  |  11:38

GAME RECAP: Hornets 124, Cavaliers 97

Jeremy Lamb leads Charlotte past Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Apr 9, 2019  |  00:00

Nance Jr. with the Fourth-Quarter Flush

Larry Nance Jr. raises the roof with a big-time dunk in the fourth quarter.
Apr 9, 2019  |  00:08

Larry Tosses the Long Assist to a Wide-Open Cedi

Larry Nance Jr. sends a missile down court to Cedi Osman who knocks down the wide-open layup.
Apr 9, 2019  |  00:11

Nance Jr. Says 'Get That Weak Stuff Outta Here!'

Larry Nance Jr. halts Charlotte's Kemba Walker beneath the basket with a two-handed stuff in this 'More Driven Highlight' by Goodyear.
Apr 9, 2019  |  00:14

Top Plays of the Week powered by ENGIE

Check out the Wine & Gold's Top Plays from the 25th week of the 2018-19 campaign.
Apr 8, 2019  |  01:37

#CavsSpurs Postgame: Larry Nance Jr.

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. spoke with the media following Sunday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Apr 7, 2019  |  02:46

GAME RECAP: Spurs 112, Cavaliers 90

Brandon Knight and Collin Sexton both tally 16 points in Cavs loss to Spurs on Sunday afternoon.
Apr 7, 2019  |  00:00

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