Los Angeles Lakers big man Montrezl Harrell has been absolutely massive for the squad since Anthony Davis went down with a leg injury.
As the season has gone on it seems as if Harrell is continuing to get more comfortable and his connections with the likes of LeBron James, Dennis Schroder and Talen Horton-Tucker have only gotten stronger.
Of course, in the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Harrell had shined in large part due to his connection with Lou Williams. The pair had unbelievable chemistry and it led to many easy baskets for Harrell in the pick-and-roll.
That did not go unnoticed to James, who believes the reserve big is getting more comfortable with his new team.
“I think he’s definitely growing more accustomed, and obviously that dynamic duo with him and Lou [Williams] for all of those years was exceptional,” James said. “Lou Will having the threat to come off and score, but also Lou Will having the threat to make that pocket pass and Trezz with his ability to roll and finish and catch and finish was just very dynamic for so many years.”
When Harrell signed with the Lakers, many immediately foresaw him being the recipient of many of those same easy baskets in the pick-and-roll. James saw the exact same thing and now believes everything is falling into place between the two of them.
“When we got him, I knew it would be something that we could exploit because of my ability to play the pick-and-roll game, my ability to pass the ball, his ability to catch and finish,” James added. “So I think as of late, we know where we are on the floor, we know the sets that we’re in and he’s doing a hell of a job of being able to set screens for me, get me downhill and then I’m just trying to put it on time, on target for him so he can get to his game.”
The condensed season along with a shortened training camp has led to very little practice time to all of these new pieces come together. Thankfully for Harrell and the Lakers, James is one of the smartest players to ever step foot on an NBA floor.
With enough time, he’s able to figure out the best way to connect with any teammate and someone of Harrell’s quality is sure to receive all of the easy baskets he can handle with James being comfortable with him.
While the Lakers did not utilize Harrell a ton in the pick-and-roll to start the year, his touches has increased in recent weeks and more production has come with it. In his last four games, Harrell has averaged 23.8 points and 7.3 rebounds on 70.1% shooting from the field.
Vogel believes Harrell has been ‘invaluable’ to short-handed Lakers
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has had nothing but high praise for Harrell throughout this season and that has continued, especially with the Lakers short-handed in the frontcourt.
“He’s been invaluable,” Vogel noted. “He’s been a big part of our success this season, especially with Anthony [Davis] and Marc [Gasol] being out, we’ve leaned more heavily on him than we were earlier in the season.”
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