Anthony Randolph is going to be a huge factor for the Golden State Warriors if they want to be competitive especially with Brandan Wright out for an extended period of time.
When Chris Mullin drafted Randolph he came in as a project. He was young and only played one year of college ball at Louisiana State University and he was skinny. He possessed tremendous athleticism too.
In the first half of the season Randolph had a hard time getting on the floor. In fact he didn't really get significant minutes until mid-February. Part of that was due to the way he practiced and how he needed to mature a little bit.
The culmination of the lack of maturity came in a practice where Randolph, who was playing hard, but not realizing the situation where most of the Warriors were unable to practice and giving another player on the team a bloody nose.
Luckily for Randolph, Stephen Jackson and Ronny Turiaf gave him the advice he needed because Randolph went from one immature kid to one of the hardest working players Don Nelson has ever coached, according to the official team website.
There's also a reason why Warriors fans are excited to watch Randolph play. With his athleticism he is also a very high energy player as well. This was proven last year in a game against Utah where Randolph made play after play and scored a then career high 20 points in that game.
Highlights of the game can be found here. Watching the highlights though shows just what kind of talent that Randolph has. He scored in a variety of ways including running the break, hitting a mid-range jumper, getting put-backs, and even a give and go with Ronny Turiaf.
What's so great about that game against Utah too is the fact that he was able to frustrate the Jazz just with his energy.
What will be interesting is over the course of the season is if Randolph, who is definitely undersized as a power forward, can stay on the court without getting into foul trouble. I think for the most part he can and with his length even if he gets beat he still has the ability to recover thanks to his tremendously long arms.
There's a clip right here of Randolph blocking Tyrus Thomas after he gets beat.
Yet, even better is the fact that Randolph doesn't have any fear of who the player is he's going to try to block the shot or on the offensive side score.
Here are some examples:
Yao Ming dunked on twice.
Against Tim Duncan and the Spurs%2024%20points%20and%2016%20rebounds">Spurs career high 24 points and 16 rebounds for Randolph.
Lamar Odom is quoted as saying that Randolph has "hall of fame talent."
After seeing those clips it's easy to see why there are many experts believing he'll be one of the most improved players in the league. I'm hoping the same thing, but most importantly he becomes consistent.
There aren't very many big men like Randolph who are able to dribble the basketball, shoot like he can, have that athleticism, and the length that Randolph possesses if he can harness that, Randolph should have a big season for the Warriors.