The Lakers’ summer league team has been the top entertainment in Las Vegas. They have performed well and impressed a lot of their fans. Most of the Lakers’ young core has played well including second-year guard D’Angelo Russell, who has put on an absolute show these past few games. Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle are missing from summer league action.
Randle didn’t participate in this year’s summer league, but he did show up in Las Vegas to support his teammates play against the Warriors Monday night. During a third quarter interview with Rosalyn Gold-Onwude of NBA TV, Randle shared his thoughts about his new head coach, Luke Walton.
“He is just a great guy,” Randle said. “The energy when I was practicing with the summer league team was great. He is very approachable. We already had discussions, and I know I’ll love playing for him.”
Randle has yet to play under Walton’s system, but the former is already being encouraged to play his style of basketball. Randle is known for his rebounding prowess and attacking the rim. Walton wants him to keep on doing the same. After Randle’s first practice with the summer league team, last week, Walton and the coaching staff pressured Randle to push the ball in transition after a rebound even more so than last year.
Randle’s style of play last season could sometimes be bruising and a little bit chaotic to watch; it was after all his first full season in the NBA. However, this upcoming season, Randle will focus on being under control and patient on the court by studying a lot of films.
“Watching films and seeing areas where you can better at and where to slow down,” Randle said. “Understanding where the defenses are and just learning from those mistakes and getting better for them.”
Randle also talked about watching filmsof other players that share a similar style of basketball as he does. One, in particular, is Draymond Green.
“I watched his films a lot,” Randle continued. “I like watching basketball in general.”
There could be an argument that Randle and Green share a similar style of play. Both are tenacious rebounders and play with extreme passion on the court. Julius Randle was ranked third in the NBA in double-doubles (34) among power forwards. The players in front of him were Anthony Davis (36) and Kevin Love (35). Draymond Green finished with 33 double-doubles. Green is a superb playmaker compared to Randle. Out of the top power forwards in double-double ranking, only two notched a triple-double: Draymond Green at 13 triple doubles and Julius Randle with one career triple double.
The main difference between those two players is one played under a system that was free flowing and fun while the other relied on isolation and stagnation. Julius Randle will get a chance to play in a system that could benefit him tremendously as one can see in Larry Nance Jr., who is playing extremely well in the summer league.
Nance Jr. is not afraid to grab a defensive rebound and push the ball full court. He is playing with proper spacing and ball movement that encourages him to shoot from deep and make plays for others. He is utilizing the pick-and-roll properly resulting in highlight dunks. Nance Jr.’s success could be a positive indicator of what is to come for Randle.
Randle will only be 21 years old next season. He has a lot of time to improve his game and is already taking the proper steps to do so. With the influences of Draymond Green and the coaching of Luke Walton, it wouldn’t shock anyone to see Julius Randle rack up a few more triple doubles next season.