For most of the season, Montrezl Harrell has been a model of consistency for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging nearly a double-double per game. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for Harrell this month.
Through 10 games in April, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year has averaged 7.6 points per game on 46.8% shooting, and posted a plus-minus of -2.9. For context, he averaged 19.5 points per game on 64.6% shooting from the field through 13 games in March and posted a plus-minus of +2.5.
The biggest difference between this month and last month for Harrell has been his minutes per game. Last month, Harrell averaged 28.9 minutes per game, which was the fourth-most on the team behind Dennis Schröder, Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James. This month, he’s averaged just 18.3 minutes per game in large part due to the addition of Andre Drummond, who’s averaged 26.2 minutes per game since he made his return from injury.
Frank Vogel recognizes the challenging position that he’s put Harrell in, but he also thinks the team can be doing more to help Harrell adjust to his new role.
“We’re evolving as a team, and we’re working new guys in, and roles are changing slightly,” Vogel said after the Lakers’ 111-97 loss to the Jazz on Monday, in which Harrell was held to 2 points. “We want to continue to make sure to Trezz is getting the ball in positions to score where he’s at his best.
“He’s had some good performances, but tonight our ball-handlers didn’t deliver the ball to him in a position where he could make something happen. Credit Utah’s defense for the way they were playing, they really took our pick and roll out of the game tonight. That’s what limited Trezz.”
Whatever the actual behind Harrell’s struggles is, he’s clearly not going to waiting around for anybody else to fix it but himself. After Monday’s game, he stayed at Staples Center to get shots up.
Montrezl Harrell is back on the floor getting shots up after tonight’s loss. pic.twitter.com/8otdyz0UoN— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) April 20, 2021
Harrell will face another challenge when Anthony Davis returns and takes up more minutes in the front court, but if there’s anything he’s shown the Lakers and their fans this season, it’s that he’s not scared of a challenge. After all, this is the guy that implied he could take on an elephant in a fight. Harrell doesn’t back down.