The Lakers' young new power forward likes to do something that most big guys despise.
Dribble the ball. In space. Often well above the top of the key.
Julius Randle likes to handle.
He's not the next Magic Johnson, despite similar 6-foot-9 height. He had five turnovers in 27 minutes of the Lakers' 89-88 NBA summer league overtime victory Monday over Golden State.
But Randle made it entertaining in only his second game since signing a potential four-year deal with the Lakers.
On one possession, point guard Kendall Marshall dropped the ball off to him near midcourt, allowing Randle to take it from there, size up center Ognjen Kuzmic and go right at him. Randle had no problem blowing past Kuzmic but missed the layup.
On another play, Randle took a defensive rebound, steamrolled upcourt with the ball, somewhat out of control, and had it stolen near the Lakers' basket.
That he made it that far was a credit to his dribbling ability. That he had the ball stolen might be reason to do it more judiciously.
He did it again shortly thereafter, dribbling the ball upcourt, even appearing to call a play while briefly trying to set up the Lakers’ offense. He drove hard from above the top of the key on James Michael McAdoo and tried unsuccessfully to convert an off-balance spin move that was well off the mark.
Ah, summer league.
Lakers fans should expect it in the regular season, Randle said.
"I think it's a part of my game," said Randle, who had 14 points, four rebounds and three assists. "Whether it's create for myself or create for others, yeah, I think so."
Mark Madsen, co-coach of the Lakers' summer team, said there were teachable points from Randle's forays.
"I think that's something that you show to Julius on tape the next day," Madsen said. "I didn't want to take away his aggressiveness out there in terms of allowing him to just attack."
To be sure, Madsen also complimented him.
Randle had some nice passes from the post to the three-point line for open looks from the Lakers' shooters. Of all his baskets, the most impressive one was a reverse double-clutch layup.
"He's very difficult to guard because he's so good with the ball," Madsen said. "He has the skills of a point guard in the frame and the body size of a 6-9, 250-pound man."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times