After losing most of its preseason outings by a lot, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Utah Jazz Sunday night in a second-half comeback that saw rookie Julius Randle score 8 meaningful points in the 4th quarter. Randle will need to mature quickly to help this Lakers team, which looks like it’ll need him sooner than it may have wished. Five Lakers sat out with injuries in Sunday’s win, including platooning point guards Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash.
Randle’s need to hurry may be a good thing though–both for him and the Lakers. Kobe Bryant pointed out after the game that Randle has a huge opportunity in front of him. Bryant went on to say that if Randle “f’d up” this chance he’d be a “really big idiot.” Randle is a gifted player who, by all reports, needs to be more fit to really help the team. But he has a wide open lane to run in with the Lakers and a willing mentor in Kobe Bryant.