Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. has impressed the team’s coaching staff with his work ethic and versatility, writes Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “Well, the one thing that Larry does for us is gives us a guy who is going to play the right way every single time on the basketball court,” coach Byron Scott said. “He’s never trying to play outside the box. He’s going to give you everything he’s got. He’s got great athleticism. But he works his butt off, he plays extremely hard. Trying to get him to take open shots when he has them. He’s been reluctant at times to do that. But he’s been one of those guys that just does everything that you want him to do.“
Here’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Kings coach George Karl has settled on the primary eight players in his rotation, but he would still like to find extra minutes for combo guard Seth Curry, who has been solid during his limited playing time this season, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. When asked how he can get Curry on the court more consistently, Karl responded, “That’s a tough question. Every morning, [the coaches] talk about playing more players, but when you get into the nature of the game, it is my instincts. … None of my ones, twos or threes are playing poorly, so there’s no reason to take minutes from anybody. I hope Seth is patient, and I think sometimes experimenting at home is easier to do than on the road.”
- Despite the excellent job done by interim coach Luke Walton, the Warriors need Steve Kerr to return if they hope to repeat as NBA champions, an assessment that star point guard Stephen Curry agrees with, Mark Purdy of The San Jose Mercury News writes. “He just has a way of refocusing guys,” Curry said of Kerr. “And that’s whether it’s in the middle of the game or day to day at practice. Even if we’re playing well or winning games or not, there’s always something we can work on. And he presents it in a way that kind of fuels us as opposed to, like, calling guys out. … There’s a subtle or joking way he gets his point across that we appreciate.“
- The Lakers have recalled Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black from their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This was the second stint with the D-Fenders on the season for both players.