The Los Angeles Clippers are 29-13, but they have still had a somewhat up-and-down season as they try to snag the top spot in the Western Conference. One of the clear positives has been the terrific play of Montrezl Harrell.
The big man is one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year along with Clippers teammate Lou Williams, and Harrell has easily become one of the most important players on the team. Clippers coach Doc Rivers knows just how vital Harrell is to the team's success:
Doc Rivers on Montrezl Harrell: "He means the world to our team."
— Farbod Esnaashari (@Farbod_E) January 17, 2020
Harrell has been a consistent force for the Clippers in a season that has seen both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard miss a fraction of games due to injuries and injury management. The big man is averaging a solid stat line of 19.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists on 57.3% shooting.
Harrell has also been outspoken when it comes to some of the Clippers' struggles this season. He knows the team can't just rest on its laurels and must bring consistent focus every night. The big man even called out the team after the Clippers' recent ugly loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
“We’re not a great team,” Harrell continued. “We’re not a great team. We just became together this year. We have two players that haven’t never been a part of this team last year. We have a player who won an NBA championship with a whole other team last year. So we’re not a great team, that’s No. 1 right there. That’s what we need to realize and wake up. We’re still a team that needs to figure out things we need to do to win, night in and night out.
Montrezl Harrell's future with the Clippers is unclear because he's about to hit free agency and will want to get paid. Given his importance, though, Rivers should push the front office to do everything to convince him to stay.