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Basketball philosophy

What is Anthony Randolph’s potential? Kris Humphries is a good career model

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Wizards v/s Timberwolves 03/05/11

Wizards v/s Timberwolves 03/05/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anthony Randolph has been one of the NBA’s signature enigmas for years. With tantalizingly explosive athleticism and guard skills, he’s a player who’s feel for the game and basketball intelligence holds him back from otherwise starting caliber NBA tools. At this point he can hardly get on the floor. Yet teams know he has a chance to break out, which is why Denver paid a decent price for him.

I don’t believe Randolph will break out to all-stardom or anything. However I do think he can be starting caliber. In 2011-2012 in 517 minutes buried in Minnesota, per 36 minutes he averaged 17.5 pts, 8.6 rebs, 2.4 blks on .532 TS%. In 2010-2011 split between New York and Minnesota, per 36 he averaged 18.6 pts, 9.8 rebs, 1.5 blks on .505 TS%. Productivity per minute is not Randolph’s issue. His statline if one only looked at the per 36, resembles a slightly poor man’s version of Josh Smith. Smith in 2011-2012 per 36 minutes averaged 19.2 pts, 9.8 rebs, 1.8 blks on .499 TS%, though that was a down shooting % year for him, with Smith usually breaking .53 TS%+. Smith mind you averaged 4.0 assists per 36 minutes to Randolph’s 1.3

So why doesn’t Randolph play more? Because he has far too much nervous energy and often makes “dumb plays”, trying to do too much to prove he should stay on the floor, rather than let the game come to him.

As a Raptors fan this situation reminds me of a young Kris Humphries. When Humphries was on the team, like Randolph, his production per minute was very good. In the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 years, per 36 minutes Humphries averaged 15.5 pts, 10.1 rebs, .512 TS%, then 15.5 pts, 9.5 rebs, .513 TS%. His per 36 stats in 2011-2012 for New Jersey were 14.2 pts, 11.3 rebs, .539 TS%. He’s gotten slightly better offensively, but ultimately is not far off from his previous production. In Toronto he was an athletic rebounder with a good midrange jumpshot, usually a solid combination productivity wise. The problem was he just tried to do too much on the floor. He would take numerous shots in a row when better offensive players were on the floor, as if he wanted to put up a big statline to get more minutes. Sometimes however, he would legitimately swing games with his productivity. Other times he was yanked after a few minutes. The Humphries in New Jersey, thanks to consistent minutes and likely maturity, plays a much less up and down style of game, producing throughout the game.

That’s the career path Anthony Randolph can follow. With perhaps the right coach and situation and getting a few years older, he can carve out a Humphries-like breakout in the NBA where he can produce in 30 minutes, what he’s done for his career so far in 10-15. Like Humphries I believe Randolph has too many limitations to be a star, but he may find himself a very well paid starting caliber PF at one point in his career. What Randolph has going for him is that he is a unique talent. It’s hard for great teams to fit role player talents who need a massive amount of possessions offensively such as Beasley, OJ Mayo or Jerryd Bayless, however there will always be a spot for players who can impact the game defensively by blocking shots or providing energy and in general, being productive off the ball and without a high number of field goals, instead of requiring those things.

By Julien Rodger

Twitter: @ASFW_jrodger

Email: julienrodger@gmail (Throw me a question, I’ll get around to a weekly/monthly mailbag if I get enough)

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Written by jr.

September 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Basketball

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