The scrimmages have finished and the NBA restart is now set to begin with seeding games, and a marquee matchup between the two Western Conference frontrunners in the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers.
The Clippers won two of the three matchups this season and one advantage many give them over the Lakers is their reserve unit led by Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. Both Williams and Harrell are candidates for the Sixth Man of the Year Award, as each averaging over 18 points per game.
But both were also forced to leave the Orlando bubble in order to deal with personal matters. While Williams has been in the news due to his decisions, Harrell has gone under the radar.
And now, like Williams, Harrell won’t be available for the first game against the Lakers. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Harrell still has yet to return to Orlando and it is unknown when he will do so:
Los Angeles Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell will miss the highly anticipated restart matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday and it is unclear when he will return the NBA’s Disney bubble, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
This is a major loss for the Clippers, especially when combined with Williams already being out as well. The two play a massive role for the Clippers and both being out should give the Lakers a huge advantage in this contest.
With Harrell not playing, the pressure will be on the likes of Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris and new signee Joakim Noah to step up in his place.
This game between the Lakers and Clippers is massive as far as standings goes. Though the chances of the Lakers losing the top seed in the West was already slim, a win over the Clippers would practically guarantee them the top spot.
Hopefully Harrell’s personal matters are able to be taken care of and he and his family will be fine. But the Clippers will be in a bind while both he and Williams are out and the Lakers are in position to take advantage of it.
Anthony Davis expects to suit up vs. Clippers
The only injury concern for the Lakers heading into the seeding games involves Anthony Davis. The Lakers superstar was poked in the eye in the team’s second scrimmage against the Orlando Magic and then sat out the third exhibition game.
By all accounts the injury was a minor one and Davis confirmed that things have gotten better and he expects to suit up against the Clippers.
“Eye is getting better. Way better than when I initially got hit. Moving in the right direction,” Davis said Wednesday. He will undergo another exam Wednesday, but Davis remains confident he’ll suit up. “That’s the plan, for me to play,” he added.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!