LA Lakers' Julius Randle told to get in better shape by Coach Scott

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When Byron Scott returned to LA to take up the Lakers head coach role it was clear from the outset that he wouldn't settle for anything less than the best from his 2014-15 roster.

High standards

When you have won three NBA Championships as part of the famous Showtime Era Lakers team you tend to have expectations like that.

And the 2008 NBA Coach of the Year this week set down the marker for one of the Lakers' new boys, rookie Julius Randle.

Despite Randle near double-double in the Lakers preseason opener this week Scott has warned that the former Kentucky star must improve his fitness if he is to avoid falling foul of the tempo of the pro game.

"He's got to do a better job of setting screen," Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reports Scott as saying on Randle's game.

"He's got to do a better job of getting up and down the floor. He does that in spurts."

Must get better

And Scott continued in his critique, claiming that whilst Randle was looking good there is always room for improvement. When you are playing with a franchise as storied as the Lakers the bar is usually set pretty high.

"The biggest thing with him right now is that he has to get in better shape. He's in good shape but he has to get in great shape."

And what if the rookie cannot make that step up?

"When you're not in great shape and you get tired, you lose focus, it's that simple...It's just a matter of getting him in great shape."

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Rookie Randle

Julius Randle was taken by the Lakers with the seventh overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft after impressing as a one-and-done with the Wildcats.

Despite averaging 15ppg and 10.4 rebounds with Kentucky, the power forward was criticised at times for his fitness levels - whilst injuries also played their part in limiting his role at the NCAA Tournament.

His naturally powerful frame is sure to lend itself well to the NBA however, but Scott is right that he must become more mobile if he is truly to excel at the next level.

Randle dropped 10 points, shot 5-of-9 and racked up eight rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Nuggets 98-95 in San Diego, Monday.

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