Even though we told you not to forget about Julius Randle, not having him do much of anything basketball related since April can make that hard. We got glimpses of Russell, Nance, and Ingram at Summer League. We even got a taste of Jordan Clarkson at the Drew League. But nothing from Randle.
With the opening of training camp, that’s going to change. Soon we will get snippets of Randle practicing and getting clips of him scrimmaging. We’ll also get clips of him practicing his shooting. You know, like this one:
Randle was working on his deep ball after practice and had it rolling while I was ?: pic.twitter.com/V4pzeUmZUu
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 27, 2016
While I will restrain myself from getting too excited about watching Randle nail a bunch of 3’s in a row — after all, even Timofey Mozgov can do that — I will say it’s nice to see Randle working on this part of his game and seeing some success at it. Further, his shooting motion looks compact and smooth while his lower body shows good balance with a strong base.
There are several key areas Randle can make strides in if looking to become a more well rounded player, but hitting the outside jumper might be the most important one. Yes, even more than finishing with his right hand near the basket. A better jumper not only means Randle takes less of a pounding by getting him baskets farther from the hoop, but it ultimately means defenses respecting him more which will only open more driving lanes.
We all know Randle’s off the dribble work is the strongest part of his game to this point, so any skill building which will make that part of his game even easier should only mean more on court success.
Of course, Randle still has a ways to go. Hitting shots in practice — especially with no defense on him and when in rhythm — is one thing. Doing so in a game situation within the construct of the offense while dealing with all the other live action variables is quite another. But the only way to get to that point is by continuing to work on (and succeed at) it, which the clip above shows.