If the Los Angeles Lakers start the upcoming season with exactly the lineup they have now, many fans won’t be thrilled with the team’s potential.
Many people think that the current team is a team to play with, or worse, doomed to another lottery season.
Such pessimism is quite understandable from an internal point of view. The Lakers are having the most disappointing season in franchise history as they were expected to be in contention for the NBA championship but missed the playoffs instead.
Yes, the poor formation of the squad was a serious problem, but so were the injuries.
LeBron James only played 56 games due to numerous injuries and illnesses, while Anthony Davis only appeared in 40 contests due to an MCL sprain and a sprained foot.
Then there was Kendrick Nunn, who didn’t play in any of the regular season tournaments due to a persistent bruised bone.
he apparently now 100% healthyand it’s easy to forget what a good player he used to be with the Miami Heat.
A healthy Nunn could make a big difference in the Lakers’ fortunes next season. Will he be an All-Star? Probably not, but it can really help.
Nunn can score – productive
At first glance, it might seem that there was nothing wrong with the Los Angeles offense last season. He averaged 112.1 points per game, which was 11th in the NBA.
That sounds good? Not so much.
The team only finished 23rd in the attacking rankings, meaning it was a very ineffective attacking unit. The Lakers were also only 22nd in three-point shooting percentage and 29th in free throw accuracy.
Nunn has the opportunity to achieve a positive result in all of these categories.
In 2020/21 (his last healthy season) he was shooting 48.5% from the field overall, 38.1% from downtown and an amazing 93.3% from the charity streak.
A closer look reveals how effective he was throughout the room. He made an outstanding 75.5 percent of his shots from three feet, 40.5 percent from 3 to 10 feet, 42.1 percent from 10 to 16 feet, and 52.9 percent from 16 feet and the three-point line.
Overall, he made a ridiculous 58.3 percent of his two-point shots, while his real shooting percentage was 59.6 percent.
An undrafted defender is also very efficient in transition. By the looks of it, new head coach Darwin Ham will once again focus on fast-breaking play, or at least fast passing, and Nunn will certainly play an important role in that aspect of Los Angeles’ offense.
Nunn may not make a lot of shots for the Lakers, but there’s a good chance he ends up finishing at least fourth on the team in shot attempts per game, and as long as his previous efficiency is maintained, it will help the team a lot. .
Nunn is not a very good playmaker as he only averages 3.0 assists per game in his career.
But he is a defender with the ball who can deliver the ball to the top zone, push the ball and attack in the transition, and also create his own shot.
This could make him the perfect companion for James, as he could reduce the 37-year-old’s ball-handling workload while still delegating much of that responsibility to him and still work effectively off the ball.
Nunn has established himself as a good shooter. In those situations, he made 42.1% of three-pointers in 2020/21.
Unlike Russell Westbrook, who seemed minimally effective off the ball, Nunn looks like a good candidate to play well with James and develop chemistry with him, making his life easier and keeping him fresh.
No one should expect Nunn to be a quarterback, but he’ll put in the effort on this end of the floor and help out in an area where the Lakers have failed.
People in the league are at least somewhat appreciative of his ability on this end of the floor.
By using Los Angeles Times:
“However, another name has surfaced – Kendrick Nunn. The scouts love his toughness and think he can play an important role on this side as well.”
Perhaps Nunn can help put pressure on the opposing player as he brings the ball into the top zone, thereby reducing shot time and forcing the opposing team to work harder to make a good shot.
It remains to be seen how Ham will use Nunn defensively in detail, but his ability here is clear.