Zach Randolph is one of the best post players that we have in the game today. One of the “last of a dying breed”, there are not many well-rounded post players in the NBA anymore as the league is shifting to an athletic/3-point shooting league. However, Randolph is still able to dominate today and mainly it’s because of his mechanics.
A clip of Zach Randolph early on in his career showing off his repetoire of post moves.
Randolph does a great job of reading his defenders and basing what he does off of how they play him. A guy that came into the league lacking athleticism, he never let that hold him back. Randolph perfected his post moves and made himself a nightmare for people to defend.
Zach Randolph is a lefty that loves to come back to his right shoulder. Majority of the time when he gets the ball in the paint, no matter where he gets it, you can bet more than likely that he’s coming back over the right shoulder for the lefty hook. Even though most defenders know its coming, they can’t stop it because he knows how to use his body so well. Randolph does a great job establishing position early and pinning his defender deep in the paint. He sees the ball well and knows how to position himself where he can catch and go up.
Zach Randolph in his last game against the Golden State Warriors — dominating in the post, putting up 22 points to help his team take a 2-1 lead in the conference semifinals.
In my opinion, what separates Z-Bo the most is his ability to shoot. He’s a great mid range shooter which requires defenders to have to come out to him. In this clip from the Grizzlies vs. Warriors game, you can see how Randolph used his shooting ability to his advantage. A lot of the time he just felt out his defender and then decided what he wanted to do. When it came to Draymond Green guarding him, most of the time Zach backed him down and used his size to just shoot over him. But when he saw guys like Festus Ezeli and Andrew Bogut, he pivoted an faced up. Either he would take the midrange shot or deceived them with his quickness and make a move to the basket. That part of his game allows him to be so effective on the offensive end. When you think you can guard him one way, he can use another move and score at will.
Great post play is a lost art in the game, which is why I can appreciate someone like Zach Randolph who has that ability to take the game back and take people to school in the post.