Second-year forward Julius Randle has come into his own this season with the Kentucky product quickly turning into a double-double machine. Randle currently has 17 double-doubles on the season which is more than LaMarcus Aldridge (14), LeBron James (15), and Kevin Durant (16).
Despite putting up some impressive numbers in what is basically his rookie season with the Lakers, the 20-year-old forward hasn’t locked up the starting power forward position in Los Angeles. Head coach Byron Scott prefers to have rookie Larry Nance Jr. in the starting lineup and Randle coming off the bench.
Although Randle has played well as late, Scott will continue to have an open competition for the starting spot at power forward via Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News:
Byron envisions having an open competition between Randle and Nance Jr. for starting spot moving forward
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 31, 2016
In 48 games, Randle is averaging 11.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per contest while shooting 41.0 percent from the floor. Randle has started 27 games so far this season with nearly identical production with his points per game slightly higher at 12.1.
As for Nance, the rookie’s stats aren’t all that impressive. Nance is averaging 5.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, but Scott feels he brings another dynamic to the floor with his energy.
Nance does a lot of things on the floor that doesn’t end up on the stat sheet, and Scott sees value in that over Randle’s near-double-double performances on a nightly basis.
On Sunday, Nance will sit out against the Charlotte Hornets while dealing with knee soreness. Randle will get the start against the Hornets and will continue to try to make a lasting impression to earn the starting role.