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Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki lofts praise toward Lakers’ Julius Randle

Dirk Nowitzki Julius Randle

The Los Angeles Lakers first action following NBA All-Star Weekend provided fourth-year forward Julius Randle the opportunity to play against his hometown team in the Dallas Mavericks. Randle didn’t disappoint on Friday night, putting up his fifth career triple-double performance to help lead his team to a win.

It was an all-around performance that displayed Randle’s unique ability to positively impact the game in a variety of ways on the court. According to Ryan Ward of ClutchPoints, it was a strong outing from the 23-year-old that caught the full attention and much praise from Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.

It has become quite evident that Randle has some extra motivation anytime he takes the floor against the Mavericks.

He entered Friday’s game averaging a double-double with 16.4 points and 10.8 rebounds on 52.4 percent shooting from the field. He has taken that up a notch this season as the two previous meetings facing Dallas saw him average 24.5 points with 11.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists on 65.5 percent shooting from the floor. This includes recording at least 20 points and eight rebounds on 60 percent shooting each contest.

More importantly, Randle has shown continued improvement in his play this season that has made a consistent offensive factor on a nightly basis, which is something that he has struggled to do for much of his career. This has changed a huge way this year as he has been arguably the team’s most reliable scoring punch and has continued to step it up in the month of February, averaging 20.7 points ahead of Friday’s tilt in seven games played with four 20-point performance in the process.

His strong play has caught the attention of his teammates. Teammate and rookie point guard Lonzo Ball recently raved about his play, citing it as a huge factor in helping his team cruising to a win.

Randle has finally begun to show the progress in his development that the Lakers had hoped to see in his first three years in the league. With 24 games remaining in the season, it will provide him more opportunities to build on arguably the best campaign of his career.