Rail-Thin Randolph Has Robust Game
Posted Jul 20 2008 2:22AM
LAS VEGAS, July 19 2008 -- He’s the kind of thin that makes a writer break out similes and the thesaurus to properly describe him.
He’s the kind of thin that makes you think of pipe cleaners, Calista Flockhart and M.C. Hammer’s wallet.
He’s as long as Lawrence of Arabia and as wide as a crack in the sidewalk. He’s as skinny as Pete Wentz’s jeans and as lean as Stouffer’s diet cuisine.
Slender. Gaunt. Emaciated.
Warriors rookie forward Anthony Randolph is all of these things, but he’s also proving to be really, really good at basketball.
Through his first four games in the Las Vegas summer league, the 6-10, 205-pound Randolph is averaging 20.8 points (fifth best in Vegas), 7.8 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block per night.
Even with being so tall, Randolph plays a swingman’s game. Most 6-10 guys hang out in the post so they can make their trip to the rim as short as possible once they receive the ball; Randolph has no problem starting his move to the cup out at the three-point line.
When asked to describe his game to somebody who has never seen him play before, Randolph obliged, “I’m a versatile player who can play on the wing, can also at times play on the post and tries to take advantage of mismatches.”
Asides from his beanstalk figure, the knock on Randolph coming out of one year at Lousiana State University was that he was just another athletic body and couldn’t shoot the ball.
Before the Draft, I joked that he would follow in Stromile Swift’s and Tyrus Thomas’ footsteps and complete the triumvirate of über able-bodied athletes coming out of LSU that ultimately disappointed.
Now that I’ve seen him in action, I starting to think he’ll buck that trend.
While Randolph isn’t wet on every jumper he strokes, he’s still knocking down a respectable .452 rate from the field. What’s more impressive is how his aggressiveness has paid off at the free throw line.
Randolph shot 16-for-18 from the charity stripe on Saturday and had one stretch in the second quarter when he got to the line on three straight possessions. The stellar showing at the line lifted his already solid free throw percentage to .844 for the week.
“I really put a lot of time in my free throws to make sure when I drive that I’ll be able to finish with making my free throws,” said Randolph who shot .693 from the line during his lone year of college ball.
Born in Germany, reared in Pasadena, Little Rock and Dallas, schooled in Baton Rouge and now making waves in Las Vegas before settling into the San Francisco Bay area, Randolph has come a long way to get to the NBA.
Even summer league has been a journey for him. Randolph started off blistering, shooting 12-for-18 in his debut and causing a stir when his point total settled at 30 in the Warriors win.
When Randolph combined to go 11-for-27 in his second and third game, his first game was being called a fluke. Never mind he was actually hampered by an ankle injury. It was easier to think that he was over hyped after the first game.
“I was kind of hurt after that second game so I was just trying to get back in the swing of things and see if I can play well,” Randolph said.
Bouncing back with 26 points and 12 rebounds to close out his time at summer league was especially satisfying.
“It was good to get a win. We really wanted to go 4-0, but we did good at 3-1.”
Warriors fans will still want Randolph to enter some sort of weight gaining regimen before the season starts, but they can take solace in the fact that he sure got his fill of knowledge on what it takes to make it in the league this week.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Randolph said. “So much … Rotations … spreading the floor … giving it up to the open person. All of that.”
Now he just has to learn to ask for seconds at the dinner table.