Don’t sleep on Kendrick Nunn’s potential impact on the Lakers

Don’t sleep on Kendrick Nunn’s potential impact on the Lakers

If the Los Angeles Lakers start the upcoming season with the exact same roster they currently have, many fans will not feel good about the team’s potential.

Many people think that the current team is a play-in team or, worse, is bound for another lottery season.

This kind of pessimism is completely understandable from a visceral point of view. The Lakers are coming off the most disappointing season in franchise history, as they were expected to struggle for the NBA Championship, but instead missed the playoffs.

Yes, poor roster construction was a big culprit, but so were the injuries.

LeBron James played just 56 games due to multiple injuries and illnesses, and Anthony Davis appeared in just 40 competitions due to a sprained MCL and sprain.

Then there was Kendrick Nunn, who didn’t even play in a regular season competition due to a stubborn bone injury.

He’s apparently 100 percent healthy now, and it’s easy to forget what a good player he was with the Miami Heat before.

A healthy nun could make a significant difference to the Lakers’ fortunes this coming season. Is he going to be an All-Star? Probably not, but that can really help.

Nuns can score – efficiently

At first glance, one might think there was nothing wrong with LA’s offense last season. It averaged 112.1 points per game, ranking 11th in the NBA.

Feels great? Not so much.

The team finished just 23rd in the offensive rating, meaning it was a very inefficient offensive unit. The Lakers were also ranked just 22nd in 3-point shooting percentage and 29th in free throw accuracy.

Nuns have the ability to make a positive dent in all those categories.

In the 2020-21 season (his last healthy), he shot 48.5 percent from the field overall, 38.1 percent from City and a sizzling 93.3 percent from Charity Stripe.

A closer look reveals how efficient he was across the floor. He excelled 75.5 percent of his shots from within 3 feet, 40.5 percent from 3 to 10 feet, 42.1 percent from 10 to 16 feet, and 52.9 percent between 16 feet and the 3-point line.

Overall, he shot a ridiculous 58.3 percent of his 2-point shots and had an actual shooting percentage of 59.6 percent.

An undrafted guard is also very effective in infection. From all appearances, it looks like new head coach Darwin Hamm will re-emphasize fast-break, or at least up-tempo ball play, and the nuns will certainly be an important part of that aspect of LA’s attack.

Nunn may not take a high amount of shots for the Lakers, but there’s a good chance he’ll end up in at least fourth on the team in shot attempts per game, and so long as his former prowess is maintained. It will help the team a lot.

ball handling

Nunn is not much of a playmate, as his career average is just 3.0 assists per game.

But he is a ball-handling guard who can bring the ball upcourt, push the ball and attack in transition as well as make his shot.

This could make him a perfect partner for James, as he can reduce the workload of the 37-year-old handling the ball, while still deferring most of those responsibilities and still being effective with the ball.

Nun has proven to be a good catch-and-shoot player. In such a situation, during the 2020-21 season, he made 42.1 percent of his 3-pointers.

Unlike Russell Westbrook, who seemed at least as effective without the ball, Nunn looks like a good candidate to play well to James and develops chemistry with him while making his life easier and keeping him fresh. .

Defense

No one should expect Nunn to be a defensive stopper, but he will try and help the area on that end of the floor that the Lakers were saddled with.

People around the league rave about his potential, at least to some degree, on that end of the floor.

Via Los Angeles Times:

“However, another name has cropped up, that of Kendrick Nunn. Scouts love his toughness and think he could be a factor on that side of the ball as well.”

Perhaps the nun can help put pressure on the opposing team’s ball-handler as he brings the ball upcourt, so the opposing team has to work harder to get a good shot by taking time out of the shot clock.

It remains to be seen how Hamm will use Nunn in detail at the defensive end, but his potential there is clear.

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The story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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