“He’s Lamar Odom in a Zach Randolph body.” – said Kobe Bryant about teammate Julius Randle earlier this week. That might not sound like the best compliment for those who only know Odom as a Kardashian victim and think of Randolph as one of the most out-of-shape looking players but it’s a pretty huge compliment. During Odom’s younger days – before his time with Kobe and the Lakers – he was a tall, skinny triple-double threat good for 20 on any given night. Odom also had handles like a point guard and would make Sportscenter on a nightly basis for either throwing down a dunk or making a flashy pass to a teammate for a dunk. This is the Odom Bryant is talking about and he’s saying these skills are packaged in a big body like Randolph.
On Thursday night against the Raptors, Randle backed up those statements with a spectacular play that started with a rebound, Randle running the court, going behind his back to fake out a defender and then dishing to Kobe for a 3.
Earlier in the quarter, Randle also showed off his craftiness by throwing the ball off the butt of Patrick Patterson on an inbound play.
“Julius is an animal,” Hibbert said. “That boy can play. The things that he does with his size, pushing the ball up the court, dunking, the sky’s the limit. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
In 23 minutes, Randle had 17 points (7 of 10 shooting), 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes.