The offseason is a time to recharge the batteries, hit the weight room and address specific areas of one’s game; however, players are never too shy to flash the skills in a pickup game or wow onlookers with some high-flying theatrics — and a lot of the New Orleans Pelicans have done just that over the past month or so.
At the forefront of these highlight glimpses sits the Strength and Conditioning King, Julius Randle. Seriously, is there any other player who has publicized more parts of his strenuous offseason programs during the last couple of summers than him? Anyways, the video below made for a nice change of pace as he appeared on a basketball court instead of unveiling another ripped muscle on his already perfectly sculpted body.
It’s true most NBA players can look like All-Stars against lesser competition, but did you notice Randle doing anything out of the ordinary?
He was attempting and making jumpshots out on the perimeter!
In case you’ve forgotten, 87% of his shot attempts came inside the paint last season. Randle lives around the rim — thankfully, he’s incredibly good at converting despite opponents knowing what’s coming, but if he could add a semi-dependable jumper from anywhere out on the perimeter, that would create a little more versatility and could provide a new wrinkle to the Pelicans offense. However, not to fear, even if the midrange or beyond shot fails to materialize, he’s still maintaining those effective post-ups and dribble drives.
Another big not named Anthony Davis who is showing off good mobility these days is Jahlil Okafor. Regardless of the guys he’s sharing the floor with in the video, Okafor is looking like a talent again — a major plus for a guy who has had difficultly staying healthy and being in requisite game shape.
In addition to the bursts of athleticism, Okafor is displaying some capability of taking opponents off the dribble and pulling up for jumpshots in the Instagram clip. While these additional dimensions would be great, getting treated to a more mobile and healthier version of himself would be enough of a win for the front office.
Another player who could make General Manager Dell Demps look really good this upcoming season is Frank Jackson. The 31st pick of the 2017 NBA Draft has spent only 13 Summer League minutes in uniform, but at least a sprained left ankle was his latest malady. After watching a few of these dunks, you would never know Jackson had three surgeries on that troublesome right foot.
In addition to Jackson holding his own against Jrue Holiday, he’s been working diligently this summer with all of the Holiday brothers and Mike G, a strength and conditioning consultant for the Pelicans.
Fingers crossed that all of these good vibes can continue right up to the start of the 2018-19 season!