The Los Angeles Lakers got back in the win column on Tuesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies with one of their best performances of the year. Leading the way for Luke Walton’s team was Julius Randle, who notched his second triple-double of the season, and third of his career.
Randle finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists and truly controlled the game from the beginning. His performance was notable because Walton actually called Randle out at practice recently.
After the game Walton revealed that he called Randle afterwards, and made it clear that he will continue to push Randle because of his belief in him:
“We talked out why I got on him at practice and because I think he can be great, I’m going to continue to hold him to high standards. He obviously responded pretty well and gave us a great effort tonight.”
Walton was also very happy with Randle’s alertness, which is something the coaching staff has been working with him to improve:
“There was never a time he was on the court where he was just standing up and checked out of a possession. That’s huge progress […] that type of alertness while he’s on the court is going to make us a lot better.”
One of Walton’s best qualities as a coach is his ability to relate to players. The young Lakers trust and believe in what he is telling them and that has allowed Walton to push his guys and they have responded well. Walton has always spoken highly about what he believes Randle is capable of and this Grizzlies game is more proof of that.
Randle’s combination of brute strength, quickness, and playmaking ability makes him an extremely unique player. If Walton can get the best out of him, the Lakers could very well have a future All-Star.
**All quotes in this article obtained by Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters**