Julius Randle has improved nicely every year he’s been in the league. Remember his rookie season? His legs were so weak that he could barely step on the court without them disintegrating! The amount of progress he had made since then is staggering. Just earlier this season the Lakers FO/coaching staff were openly hostile towards him; now he is looking like a key piece moving forward.
He’s basically Giannis without the defensive highlights right now. I’m overrating him right there, but not by way too much. If he was named “Ioulios Randalopolous”, tweeted about smoothies, and had a more aesthetic face, he would be the talk of the NBA. He’d get to handle the ball on every possession, he’d get to shoot jumpers with everyone encouraging him, and some of those third-tier (for reference DownToBuck occupies the fifteenth tier) basketball writers would write fawning articles about him to drive clicks. Oh, to be a Euro in the NBA.
I was getting some serious Giannis vibes on some of these moves by Randle. Also some LeBron vibes. No joke. Those are the vibes that I am detecting, and I just got my vibe-receptors calibrated so I know the readings from the vibes are accurate. He’s got the power, but he’s also got the nimbility. The Cavs suck, but even they didn’t, they wouldn’t have been able to handle what he was bringing tonight. 36 points, 7 assists, 14 rebounds, this was an utterly devastating performance by a guy who I’ve ragged on for a couple years straight but is now really coming into his own.