The Los Angeles Lakers have completed their first training camp under first-year head coach Luke Walton, as they begin their season Wednesday night when they host the Houston Rockets.
With Kobe Bryant no longer on the team the focused turns towards the team’s young core and guys like D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram and Larry Nance Jr., among others.
Coming off a season in which they went 17-65, the worst season in franchise history, the goal of this season is improvement and development, something that has been stressed throughout camp.
Randle, who is heading into his third season as a pro despite missing just about all of his rookie season, thinks that this Lakers team can surprise some people. In an interview with SLAM Magazine Randle talked about that, as well as being a leader for the other young guys on the team:
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) October 24, 2016
In his first full season last year Randle averaged a double-double at 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds. Hid biggest weaknesses that he worked on this past offseason were his midrange jump shot and finishing with his right hand, as the southpaw doesn’t have a problem getting to the basket with his unique skill set.
While Walton has not committed to his starting lineup or rotations yet, Randle started every preseason game and started 60 of 81 games last season, so it seems as if Randle will be the team’s starter at power forward with Nance Jr. backing him up, although it is likely that the duo will have opportunities to play alongside each other when Walton goes with a smaller lineup.