After losing his rookie season due to injury, Julius Randle was anxious to make up for lost time in his second year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Randle showed a ton of potential throughout the season while also showing that he is far from a finished product.
Randle was one of only nine players in the NBA to average a double-double and his rebounding especially, was outstanding. However, he also had times where his offense was predictable and thus, shut down.
No one is quite sure whether Randle can ascend to superstar status or simply be a very good starter, but according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Randle plans on coming back much improved next season:
Yet, Randle insisted he wants to be “great.” Clearly, neither Randle nor the Lakers see a finished product that could entail pairing with rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. on the team’s frontcourt.
“I’ll come back better than I can imagine next year,” Randle said. “There’s a lot of areas in my game I can work on. I’ll leave it up to myself to get better in those areas this summer.”
His offensive shortcomings are well-known right now, but Randle’s biggest focus is on the defensive end where he says he needs to focus more off the ball:
“Individually, I love that challenge because I love competition,” Randle said. It’s more off the ball and not falling asleep.”
With Randle dozing off on those possessions, the Lakers have stressed for Randle to become more aware both on the court and when watching film.
Randle undoubtedly has many things he needs to improve upon, but he has shown the willingness to get in the gym and work hard to get better in every way possible. He will surely be practicing all summer to improve both offensively and defensively.
His jumper and right hand have been what many have pointed towards as needing improvement, but it is good to see Randle focusing on the other end as well. If he, Jordan Clarkson, and D’Angelo Russell all come back at a higher level the Lakers will have plenty to look forward to next season.