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There are reasons to get excited about Julius Randle this year


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#461 GCMD

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Posted November 03, 2017 - 09:07 PM

Lopez/Randle Center rotation is absolutely perfect, IMHO.  Perfect balance of skill and speed with the ability to change pace and methods of attack by swapping out these BIGs.

 

 

Anyone who disputes that Randle's a C is crazy, IMHO.  He may not be 7'0 but his skillset, body and strength screams Small-Ball Center...


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#462 Rekal

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Posted November 04, 2017 - 06:05 PM

Lopez/Randle Center rotation is absolutely perfect, IMHO. Perfect balance of skill and speed with the ability to change pace and methods of attack by swapping out these BIGs.


Anyone who disputes that Randle's a C is crazy, IMHO. He may not be 7'0 but his skillset, body and strength screams Small-Ball Center...


Walton definitely using that GSW blue print.
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#463 Ham

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Posted November 04, 2017 - 10:46 PM

http://www.forumblue...-randle-center/

 

In multiple conversations I’ve had with Pete Zayas, he’s told me that if there’s ever a question about what position a player is you likely need to go “up” a slot. So, if you wonder if a guy is a 3 or a 4, he’s a 4. If you wonder whether he’s a 4 or a 5, he’s a 5. In a conversation Pete and I both had with Nate Duncan of the Dunc’d On Podcast, he told us an NBA personnel man once told him that if you can’t shoot in the NBA, you’re a 5 (this was an over-generalization, but I think you get the point).

What does all of this have to do with anything, you might ask? Well, I don’t know if Luke Walton believes the same things that Pete and the personnel guy Nate talked to does, but Walton has turned Julius Randle into a 5. The player who was drafted #7 overall nearly 4 years ago as a bruiser PF who flashed some real all-court game and perimeter skill is now the Lakers primary backup Center. As the kids say, life comes at you fast.

 

Need some evidence that Randle is now a 5? The proof is in the lineup data. Randle has played a total a 169 minutes this season. Of those, only 7 have been next to Brook Lopez and only 13 of them have been next to Andrew Bogut. That’s 20 total minutes at PF for Randle and 149 as the C.

Consider too, that this includes nearly a game and a half where Larry Nance Jr. was out due to a broken hand. Not only Luke did Luke Walton not turn to Randle to start at PF (Kyle Kuzma got the nod), but Randle still didn’t get any minutes next to Lopez! Kumza ended up playing 40 minutes in Friday’s win over the Nets and the other 8 minutes at PF were either given to Ingram or another wing (Brewer or Hart, mostly).

Beyond the numbers above, though, I think it’s clear that once Randle got over that he wouldn’t begin the season in the starting five (which took a couple of games), he’s been playing some really good basketball. He’s harnessed his entire game and doing things on both sides of the ball that is aided by him being the lone big on the floor.

Offensively, he’s isolating less and instead finding the creases in the defense as a release valve and finishing inside.

randle-spacing-inside.gif

Two things stand out to me here. First, look who’s passing Randle the ball. That’s the PF — in this case Kuzma — setting him up. If Kuzma was being guarded by his own man (he’s not, there was a switch, you can see Tobias Harris #34 near the hoop), he’d be drawing the 2nd big away from the rim.

Which brings me to my second point. Randle finishes this shot over Andre Drummond, which is impressive in and of itself. But Randle can finish over/around one big. Where he’s gotten in trouble in the past is when he’s had to finish in traffic with his own man and the other team’s C lurking to contest his shot. Now that’s he’s playing C — especially next to Kuzma at PF — he’s typically only contending with his own man and he’s doing fine.

Building on that last point, it’s not just that Randle’s facing his own man it’s that his man is usually a bench big man. He’s been feasting on these guys, especially when he is isolating (which isn’t often). Look at him just abuse his man in the open court here:

randle-open-court.gif

The Pistons bigs were particularly overmatched against Randle, but he’s been making plays just like this one in the half court against other teams too. He took it Jakob Poeltl in the Raptors game and had some success against whatever Plumlee brother the Nets employ as well.

With Randle having success in these situations, it’s also opening up his passing — particularly when iso’d in the post or when operating out of HORNS sets up high. Look at this great pass he flung to Kuzma against the Pistons:

randle-passer.gif

Notice here that Randle is actually being defended by Detroit’s SF on a switch. Considering how he abused their backup bigs, note how concerned the weakside defense was with him. Randle saw that all develop and whipped that pass to Kuzma for a spot up three.

While all this work on offense has been great, it’s actually been Randle’s defense which has impressed me most as a C. When he’s played PF, Randle has had issues as a weakside rotator while also tracking his own man. Too often he favored staying close to his own man and working was a rebounder and the integrity of the team’s overall defense suffered.

As a C, however, Randle has much less rotating responsibility from the weakside because he’s often the lone player hanging back by the rim or the coaches are leveraging his athleticism by having him switch screens entirely. These are areas of defense which play to his strengths, allowing him to hang back and use his strong body to absorb drivers at the rim and then contest their shot or letting him use his combination of quickness and strength to keep perimeter players in front of him.

Look at these two possessions, again vs. the Pistons. First, here he is switching onto a perimeter player:

randle-switch-iso-defense-contested-j.gi

Randle doesn’t have perfect technique here, but Reggie Jackson still cannot beat him easily. Jackson ends up taking a difficult step back jumper that Randle contests well. Randle’s actually been good at this for some time, so it’s not a surprise. But his rim protection has been a revelation this year.

randle-rim-protection.gif

Okay. That’s John Wall with a head of steam going downhill to finish at the rim. This would normally mean death for most bigs at the rim, especially ones who are converted PF’s. But look at Randle here. He slides his feet to square up Wall, jumps straight up, absorbs Wall’s momentum, and then blocks the shot on his way down. This is textbook verticality and is very similar to the type of play Draymond Green might make at the rim.

Before the year started, I (and many others) thought Randle should be named the starter at PF. He’d gotten into tremendous shape in the offseason and played better than Nance in the preseason. I figured the reward for that work and level of play should be a return to the starting spot he’d held for the two previous seasons.

Luke Walton had other ideas, though. Yes, he flirted with Randle playing next to Bogut in the team’s first couple of games, but those lineups performed poorly. The adjustment was to move Randle to C full time and make him the primary backup. Since then, he’s thrived not only on the types of plays highlighted above, but in individual post defense and a bunch of other smaller areas that don’t show up in the box score (like how hard he’s filling lanes and running the floor).

Randle’s been able to leverage all his strengths while mitigating many of his weaknesses. No, he’s not perfect. He still makes some of the same mistakes he’s always made — bulling his way to the rim, forcing some shots inside, etc. But, overall, his level of play is way up this year. I credit him for finding his stride in a new role and for playing well. But I also credit the coaching staff. They’ve unlocked a version of Randle I’ve always believed was there.

It just turns out, it’s playing C instead of PF.

 

More on Randle at Center. Great article with gifs.


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#464 Rekal

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Posted November 05, 2017 - 09:44 PM

continued nice play from randle.
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#465 BasketballIQ

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Posted November 06, 2017 - 12:01 AM

I can envision a future with Randle
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#466 GCMD

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 01:30 PM

The next thing I want to see from Randle is better off-ball screens.  He's setting surprisingly good (for him) on-ball screens.  I want to see him exhibit a deeper knowledge of his role in this offense by him helping a teammate get open when it is not likely he gets a shot out of it...

 

Of course, by setting a good off-ball screen, the defense will be focused on the guy coming off the screen which will potentially leave Randle wide open near the rim with a chance to finish but that won't be the 1st option.

 

If Randle can start to do this, he's well on his way to earning a big fat check this summer.  The ability to free up the ball dominant players and shot makers is just as important as the ability to make shots.


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#467 kball

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 04:54 PM

Is anyone ready to anoint Jules a 'possible' starter at center here next season?

 

It has to at least be considered by lakers even if its not Plan A


Praying for  1. Some Cohesion (Ill fitting parts with young bucks, new guys, and those playing for next contracts may muck things up all season) 2. Better Coaching, No More Tanking (Last season was more of the latter but not sure how much of the former we can count on. Walton with something to prove this season as much as any Laker player) 3. Rookie Watch (Hoping Lonzo outshines his daddy (ROTY??), and Kuzma finds minutes and makes a push for all rook 2nd team)

READY FOR SEASON!!!

 

 


#468 Tensai

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 06:34 PM

The most impressive thing about Randle to me is not his efficiency, but his 1 bpg average this season. I hope he continues doing that.


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#469 DanishLakerFan

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 10:39 PM

Is anyone ready to anoint Jules a 'possible' starter at center here next season?

 

It has to at least be considered by lakers even if its not Plan A

 

I'd say he's a possible starter next season.

 

Plan A is still 2 of Lebron, Boogie and George and in that scenario i think Randle may be out.

 

But he could be a part of a lot of Plan Bs, such as Lonzo-George-Ingram-Kuzma-Randle

 

Even the worst case scenario, where we bring back Randle, KCP and Lopez isn't even all that depressing right now.


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#470 BasketballIQ

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Posted November 07, 2017 - 11:29 PM

No to starting.
Zubac and Bogut if Lopez is injured.

Not even Draymond starts at C.

Same principle as Bynum and Odom.

#471 Rekal

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 01:43 AM

No to starting.
Zubac and Bogut if Lopez is injured.

Not even Draymond starts at C.

Same principle as Bynum and Odom.


I think eventually he could start in place but, atm I think he needs to remain where he’s at and keep excelling until this becomes who he is

#472 kball

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 05:49 AM

My question was more NEXT SEASON.

 

But if Lopez does go down, yikes


Praying for  1. Some Cohesion (Ill fitting parts with young bucks, new guys, and those playing for next contracts may muck things up all season) 2. Better Coaching, No More Tanking (Last season was more of the latter but not sure how much of the former we can count on. Walton with something to prove this season as much as any Laker player) 3. Rookie Watch (Hoping Lonzo outshines his daddy (ROTY??), and Kuzma finds minutes and makes a push for all rook 2nd team)

READY FOR SEASON!!!

 

 


#473 Rekal

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 07:30 PM

good game against the Celtics; saved us from being humiliated.
I wonder what the deal was with Bogut getting that 5 mins ...
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#474 Busty Bluth

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 07:31 PM

Luke doesn’t like Julius for whatever reason.


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#475 Rekal

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 07:32 PM

Luke doesn’t like Julius for whatever reason.


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I know Randle wasn’t happy about the benching but, that seemed to be behind them... maybe something else ... bad move on Walton’s part
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#476 Busty Bluth

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 07:39 PM

Luke doesn’t like Julius for whatever reason.



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I know Randle wasn’t happy about the benching but, that seemed to be behind them... maybe something else ... bad move on Walton’s part



It is what it is. Hopefully Julius continues working and let’s his play do the speaking. Force Luke to give him extended minutes.


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#477 ChichoGarcy

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 08:27 PM

I think it's not Luke's decision. Randle's already gone, and it's decided by the FO according to Woj. I don't know if this is info or just expeculation, but at least this would explain Bogut's minutes out there, looking like a retired [expletive]ing old man.

Edited by ChichoGarcy, November 08, 2017 - 08:36 PM.

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#478 FranklinPeanuts

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 08:41 PM

I don't like Bogut.

#479 Clutch Factor

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 08:41 PM

The timing of that Woj article was really odd...right before the game.

 

I mean, it has been well-known for awhile the plan is to go after 2 max free agents according to Magic/Rob. So re-signing Randle probably wouldn't be likely. Not sure what the significance/timing of the article was. 


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#480 Calisupra2nr

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Posted November 08, 2017 - 08:54 PM

The timing of that Woj article was really odd...right before the game.

 

I mean, it has been well-known for awhile the plan is to go after 2 max free agents according to Magic/Rob. So re-signing Randle probably wouldn't be likely. Not sure what the significance/timing of the article was. 

 

 

What woj article


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