Warriors second year forward Anthony Randolph is quickly making the Las Vegas summer league his own personal playground and at the same time confirming what a lot of us knew already – he can ball.
After a string of impressive games this summer, Randolph blew up for a summer league record 42 points and did so efficiently, scoring his 42 on only 22 shots.
Randolph is undoubtedly the star of this year’s summer. Here is a collection of tweets on Randolph’s summer performance thus far from professional basketball trainer and ESPN NBA columnist David Thorpe:
- Anthony Randolph is clearly the most talented player on this floor. But I wish he’d start more possessions near the paint on offense.
- Curry to Randolph lob and finish. Curry loves to push. Randolph is a track star. Great combo.
- Randolph with a nice pull up jumper followed by a nicer right hand drive and finish.-
- Randolph with 8 and 6, a couple blocks and an assist in 1st qtr.
- There is little that Randolph can not do.
..And then these today, from his 42 point effort:
- 90 seconds in, Randolph is the best player on the floor.
- He’s showing some signs of a really mature game. Smarter at drawing fouls.
- Randolph just had the dunk of summer leagues, past-present-and future. Think Superman’s throwdown, plus the And1 factor. Stunning and sweet!
- If the draft is about projection and development, then there have to be a lot of execs sweating Anthony Randolph’s progress.
It’s clear based off Thorpe’s tweets that he’s been impressed with Randolph and frankly whats not to like? Randolph is a truly unique player. He has the size and length of a typical NBA four, yet the speed, agility and skill set of your typical NBA three.
Take a look at some of his strengths as compiled by Aran Smith for nbadraft.net in ’08 before Randolph was drafted: length and agility makes him very unique playing on the wing…has a tremendous handle and gets to the basket extremely well off the bounce…A smooth athlete with great foot speed…Runs the floor like a deer and has amazing fluidity…shows solid vision and playmaking ability for teammates…Has a lot of defensive potential. Blocks a ton of shots (2.3 pg) for a wing player due to his length, timing and explosiveness.
As you can see, Randolph sets himself apart from others by being unique. He has unique abilities for a player of his size (His perimeter game packaged in a freakishly long and athletic body. What makes him extra special is his ball handling/playmaking ability. Randolph has the potential to be one of the longest point forwards ever). In a league thats majority right-handed, Randolph is uniquely left-handed. Heck, even his long gangly body, with skinny head, just looks unique. Playing in the Nellieball system with Golden State, Randolph can uniquely be used as a 6-10 point forward for stretches.
Now, Randolph is far from a finished product (which is both scary and true). Keep in mind that while Randolph did score a record 42 points, he was doing so against a pair of rookie forwards (James Johnson and Taj Gibson) and Randolph who is as mentioned 6-10, only had three rebounds in 34 minutes (rebounding is in fact one of the few “weaknesses” to his game).
Randolph needs to continue to develop and make sure he keeps his rail thin body capable of handling the physical play of the NBA. He’ll have ample chance to succeed this year and pairing him with Stephen Curry gives the Warriors an exciting, young, big/little combo. As a basketball fan though, you have to appreciate the uniqueness of Randolph’s game.