The reactions ranged from eye gazing to eye cringing.
The Lakers marveled when their prized rookie Julius Randle bulldozed his way into the lane and muscled his way to produce 14 points in the team’s 89-88 overtime victory on Monday over Golden State in an NBA summer league game at Cox Pavilion. So much that Lakers’ summer league co-coach Mark Madsen described Randle to reporters in Las Vegas as a “matchup nightmare.” Madsen remembered all too well that he had the strenuous responsibility last month to guard Randle during his individual pre-draft workout.
“I know what it’s like to try to sit and guard him one-on-one,” Madsen said. “You can’t guard him one-on-one.”
The Lakers winced when Randle brought up the ball up the floor. He committed five turnovers. He remained determined at times to bring the ball up the floor. At times, Randle appeared in a bull in a china shop. Yet, Randle believes “it’s part of my game.”
“That’s something you show Julius on tape the next day,” Madsen said. “I didn’t want to take away his aggressiveness out there in terms of just allowing him to attack. We talked before the game on how we put the whole game plan up and you can follow the game plan to a ‘T.’ But ultimately we just want them to be aggressive. I’d rather that they have, like [John] Wooden used to say, an error of commission rather than an error of omission.”