In the loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday night, second-year forward Julius Randle of the Los Angeles Lakers recorded his 12th double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Although Randle had another impressive game on the stat sheet, head coach Byron Scott wants the 20-year-old to improve on the defensive end of the floor.
There’s no question Randle is starting to emerge as a legitimate star for the Lakers. The Kentucky product has played well offensively on a nightly basis and appears to have a bright future ahead, but his play defensively has left something to be desired.
After practice at the team’s facility in El Segundo on Friday, Coach Scott talked to the media and expressed a desire to see Randle improve his game defensively via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Byron Scott wants Julius Randle to improve his off the ball defense (weak side help, communication, etc).
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 18, 2015
Basically, Randle is playing in his rookie season and is exceeding expectations thus far. Randle only played 14 minutes in his rookie season before going down with a leg injury that ended his first year prematurely.
Randle’s defense may be a concern for the coaching staff, but the forward has played well this year regardless. He has plenty of time to polish his game on both ends of the floor.
In 26 games this season, Randle is averaging 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Randle is shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and becoming a consistent offensive threat for the Lakers.
After two games at home, Randle and company will go on the road once again this weekend with the team facing the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers will end their short trip on the road against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.