Despite playing without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to pick up a win against the L.A. Clippers in their preseason opener at Staples Center.
It expectedly was a ragged game as both the Lakers and Clippers looked to integrate new additions to their respective teams. For the Lakers, they got their first look at Montrezl Harrell, who did not disappoint as he finished the night with a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) to go along with two assists and two steals in 31 minutes of action.
Despite not having much time to learn head coach Frank Vogel’s schemes on both ends, Harrell made up for it with his activity and effort. His energy helped inject some life in to a struggling Lakers offense and made plays to keep them competitive throughout the night.
Playing against his former team likely had Harrell even more amped up and he already showed there is no love lost after refusing to help his former teammate Patrick Beverley off the floor. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Beverely seemed amused about the situation:
After colliding, Patrick Beverley asked Montrezl Harrell to help him up. Harrell walked away. Once Beverley got up, he ran over to Harrell and said, "You're not gonna help me up? Okay!" and then smacked Harrell on the butt.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) December 12, 2020
It was a sureal scene to see Harrell, who was last was in a Clippers jersey just about three months ago, not helping Beverley up given the two’s relationship. They were seen greeting each other prior to tipoff, but Harrell is already showing that he has moved on.
There also were instances in which Beverley unleashed his taunting and other histrionics, though they didn’t make much of an impact. “It doesn’t faze me, man. He’s the same Pat. He’s been doing that. That doesn’t faze me,” Harrell said. “This is basketball.
You know it g started my career out wit you my g all love
— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) December 12, 2020
“If we weren’t in a pandemic right now and it was Clippers home game, fans would be yelling at me. I’m not worried about what Pat is doing on the sidelines. Everything he’s doing on the sidelines is the reason he’s over there. He’s not in the game.
“It’s not anything different than what I knew Pat brought to the table. I came in with a mindset of what our team goal was and went out and executed that.”
Although Harrell only shot 5-of-13 from the field, he was relentless when attacking and stayed aggressive throughout the night. His performance is also more impressive when considering that he did not play alongside James or Davis.
Harrell can not compare chemistry between Lakers, Clippers
Harrell signing with the Lakers caused waves in the NBA and was considered one of the more shocking moves in free agency.
The Lakers and Clippers are on the opposite ends of the chemistry spectrum, but when asked how things are different with his new team Harrell said he had no opinion yet. “Honestly, I can’t really say,” Harrel said this week.
“It’s two different teams you’re asking me about. This is where I am and this chemistry that we’re trying to build is going to take a while.”
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