Julius Randle drew early comparisons to Draymond Green, which only intensified when former Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton was named head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. While Green is more advanced in his career, the players share a similar build and skill set.
They were one of the many intriguing matchups on Wednesday night when the Warriors edged the Lakers in an overtime thriller. Green again stuffed the box score, finishing with 15 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Randle, celebrating his 23rd birthday, scored 20 points on an efficient 9-for-13 shooting, grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and recorded one block. “He continues to get better each and every year,” Green said of his counterpart after the game.
“He brings a lot of energy to that team. It’s kind of a theme when he’s in the game, that’s when they kind of go on their runs. … He brings the life to that team.”
Randle currently finds himself in a position similar to what Green was in early on his career. But whereas Green went from bench player to key starter, Randle has gone in the opposite direction.
After starting in all but one of 74 games played last season, Randle has yet to be included in the lineup at opening tip for any of the Lakers’ 21 games this year. “It’s kind of tough. He’s been a starter his whole career,” Green said.
“Then he kind of gets demoted to the bench, if you want to look at it as a demotion, but I think he’s handled it as well as anybody.”
Not only has Randle transitioned to the bench, he’s done so as a backup center, which is a new position for him. Moreover, it’s come in a contract year for the fourth-year player, making it all the more impressive and commendable.
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