I was saying here back in the off-season about how hard Zach Randolph had been working in the Summer and that people were vastly underrating the impact that he would make this season as they were blinded by his off-court "issues".
The mistake? People were finding it too easy to bundle him with Darius Miles and the whole "Jail Blazers" identity. The thing is, Z-Bo makes some knucklehead, immature decisions from time to time off the court. Sure he does, he's a millionaire in his early 20s. Many of us would do the same.
However, he works like crazy on the training court and has clearly come back this season with a vengance. Even better than he has been before.
Check the numbers this season: 26.0ppg (12th in NBA), 10.9ppg (7th), 47.4% FG, 83.3% FT.
Offensively he is a powerhouse. He is shooting a fantastic percentage given the pressure he has on him and the lack of supporting cast on offense. His two key supporting offensive players, Brandon Roy (temporarily) and Darius Miles (long-term) have not been able to go due to injury, making Z-Bo's performance even more impressive.
Two things he definitely needs to work on: his ability to pass out of a double team (they are plentiful) and his turnovers. But hopefully these things will come. I was just reading this great post at True Hoop, analysing Zach's game. A good read if you haven't already.
I don't think so many people are sleeping on Z-Bo any more.