Dean Wade shares empathetic message he got from Larry Nance Jr. before his first career start

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dean Wade has become a fixture in the Cavs’ recently improved play.

Cleveland has won four of its last five games, and Wade has been in the starting lineup for each of those contests.

However, the 24-year-old was originally anxious about starting an NBA game. Wade shared the advice that Larry Nance Jr. gave him before he made his first start against the Atlanta Hawks.

“I look up to Larry, I’ve looked up to him for a long time,” Wade said. “I said, ‘Man, when you first started a game, were you this nervous?’ He’s like, ‘Man, I couldn’t even talk I was so nervous.’ I was like, ‘I feel the same exact way.’ We just started laughing. That little talk with Larry calmed me down so much. Pretty much refocused me for the game.”

Wade has gone on to average 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in his five starts. He is shooting a blistering 64.0 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from beyond the arc.

The youngster has stepped up in a big way for the Cavs with Nance and Kevin Love out of the lineup.

Cleveland is currently 14-22 on the season, but it is getting a good look at what players like Wade can do when given the opportunity.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.