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Film Study: How Montrezl Harrell finishes through contact so effectively

Montrezl Harrell is an absolute unit in the paint, and there are three main skills that fuel his ability to power through contact.

Los Angeles Lakers v Washington Wizards Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Montrezl Harrell is an extremely effective finisher in the paint, currently ranking sixth in the league in overall field goal percentage (62.5%). He’s shooting even better than that within three feet of the rim, converting an astounding 74.4% of his looks right at the basket.

One of the key strengths that’s allowed the Lakers’ sixth man to score so efficiently has been his ability to absorb contact and power through it — often rocking the defender’s back onto their heels — to finish at the rim. Anyone who has watched the Lakers this year can hear his customary “And-1!” scream while picturing it.

But while Harrell is clearly as strong as an ox with hands as soft as pillows, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. In the following video, I broke down the film to detail three key skills underlying his unique ability to absorb and deliver force at the contact point in the paint:

As the playoffs come around and games tighten up into slower, grind it out half-court affairs, this skillset will become even more of an advantage for Harrell. I’m thoroughly looking forward to him showing what he can do and striking fear into opponents’ hearts.

Did someone say “And-1?”

Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.

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