The Drew League in Los Angeles is one of the best pro-am summer leagues anywhere. Current and former pros — mostly LA natives, but also other players from around the league — show up often and play with/against some really talented players who aren’t NBA players, but can really ball. Every year, then, getting out to the Drew to watch some quality hoops is a staple of LA based basketball fans.
One name who’s shown up the last couple of years is the Lakers own Julius Randle. The Lakers starting PF was there this past weekend and put on quite a show in helping his team (with fellow NBA’ers DeMar DeRozan and Nick Young) pull out the win.
.@J30_RANDLE's 28 points and 18 rebounds at #thedrew keep M.H.P.'s playoff hopes alive. Check out the highlights. pic.twitter.com/dWRtopHZgl
— Drew League (@DrewLeague) July 25, 2017
Ooh, boy. Just watching that gets me excited.
Now, for some additional context. Randle didn’t have the best game early on, he got dunked on by a big man who powered over the top of him in the paint. That same player crossed him up then hit him with a spin move to almost dunk on him again (Randle fouled him). There was another play where Randle missed a dunk when he tried to yam it down with a bit too much force. So, these highlights don’t show his entire game and if all you saw was the clips above you might think Randle just dominated the entire game.
That wasn’t the case. You can watch a more full package of clips here, if you want to see what I mean.
It’s also not really the point of this post anyway. If anything, Randle getting “woken up” by a player taking it to him and then responding is kinda what I like to hear. It shows a certain competitiveness that anyone should want in a player. It also, in my eyes, makes his performance later in the game even more impressive to me. Randle was huge down the stretch defensively, getting a couple of blocks and then creating offense for his team in the open court. It was his play (along with some shotmaking from Young and DeRozan) which got his team the win.
In any event, it’s just good to see Randle in real game action. After a summer league which saw us get a glimpse of Brandon Ingram’s improvement, Kyle Kuzma play really well, and Lonzo Ball show how special he can be, getting some clips of Randle — as the other young guy who I remain really high on — is good fun. And I’m going to savor it. Especially since we’re not going to see much basketball for the next couple of months anyway.
Robert Fisher says
And there is talk of trading Randle? Why?
Oh yeah, the money. If he improves this season to warrant it, then great. If not…
LT Mitchell says
In the full game highlights, the opposition had no respect for Randle’s defense. He still couldn’t go right and his offense looked unpolished. He is going to be showcased to start the year and Lonzo will help his trade value. Kuzma is the better player and better fit as the starting PF for Luke’s offense and defense. I expect him to be the starter by the trade deadline.
Did you not see him drive into the paint and finish with the right starting at the 0:27 mark? And I love what I saw from Kuzma during SL, but c’mon he’s still gotta earn his minutes in the league. Randle still has to prove himself in a lot of areas of the game, but don’t write him off before the season starts. We still have 2 months before training camp even starts!
Thomas Wallace says
You know how many guys have dominated summer leauge never to be heard from again? Kuzma w ont be starting a d any moron who says he will knows Jack crap about basketball
Great perspective, as always, Darius.
Zzz, want to impress? Hit back to back to back jumpers.
Impressive for sure. He even played defense, of all things !
If he can carry this progress on through the regular season, I could see him possibly being worth the pay raise, season after next.
Thanks for posting Darius !
It s contract year, I think.
Disappointing! JR still bull in china shop on the court. Poor defense (totally fell asleep on an inbound play). Can’t finish in the paint, missed critical and one free throw. Missed dunks because of lack of elevation. Sets poor screens. On layups still brings ball back to his left hand.
We keep waiting for him to make a big jump in his game, but all I see is small improvements. He’s got too many holes in his game to only be making small improvements. On a contract year where his future as a Laker in on the line, this is just disappointing.
Go RIGHT young man! Go RIGHT!
My goodness, I already forgot just how bad Nick Young is at playing defense. At the same time, I love watching him shoot the ball. There is such a joy about him as he lines up the shot and releases it. He is still a kid living his dream.
Randle did not lose any strength as he lost weight since the season ended. His rebounding remains elite and anyone who plays against him is in for a hard day at the office. His passing should fit in well with Lonzo ball as well as his ability to power his way to the basket. Golden State learned that you still need enforces in the NBA and Randle can help fill that role for the Lakers.
Randle is just so difficult to judge. I love his rebounding, speed, and playmaking in transition. I want to see him run and gun in an uptempo offense. I feel like he has no trouble getting by his man even if he’s left handed dominant and everyone knows he’s going that way. Unfortunately, he never catches the ball on the move and fluidly attacks in one motion. He does this thing where he resets and sizes up his defender in Iso mode, instead of bam bam catch and attack.
On the other hand, when he gets under the basket, he gathers the ball and gets stuck due to lack of size and short arms. He still has ZERO right hand and throws up weird and awkward off balance shots. His finishing touch is also lacking when he’s attacking at full speed and ricochets the ball off the backboard. He has no D off-ball and gets caught watching the ball and gets beat back door every time….every…time. He’s actually pretty good on-ball and can stay in front of quicker athletes. He also seems to have small hands and fumbles the ball A LOT while dribbling in traffic.
I do want to see him this season and hopefully prove me wrong and show major improvement.
I think Randle is a developing player where the final form may be when he moves to another team. Randle will have a very good 2017-18 but sign with another team and become the player Laker fans were envisioning in the 2014 draft.