Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet to return for Game 1 vs. Mavs
LOS ANGELES – The LA Clippers will welcome back their injured teammates when they step onto the floor on Monday night. Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Beverley, and Landry Shamet have all been cleared to return and will play in game 1 against the Dallas Mavericks, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told members of the media before the game.
Harrell left the Orlando bubble on July 17th and made his return in the early morning of August 8th. Initially expected to receive a four-day quarantine, the Clippers’ had hoped to get Montrezl Harrell available for their seeding game finale against the Oklahoma City Thunder last Friday.
The NBA, however, issued Harrell a seven-day quarantine, with specifics on that decision still unclear, meaning his release from his hotel room was delayed until Monday morning.
“Yeah [Trez] will be thrown out there,” Rivers said. “I just don’t know how that will look or how much he will play. It will be very little would be my guess. It’s amazing, but we are using a playoff game to get a guy back in rhythm and in condition. Never thought I would say that. That’s the only way we can do that, we play every other day.
After a month away from the team, Rivers said getting Montrezl Harrell back was like seeing Nelson Mandela arrive.
“It was great getting him back. I thought Nelson Mandela walked in. That was what it sounded like. We were all laughing about it. It was just good to get him back in. Not just out of quarantine that he had been in for so long but he has gone through a lot of emotional stuff. I think it was good for our guys to be able to be able to grab him and hug him and touch him. Good for him to see us. I thought it was a good medicine.”
In addition to Harrell, both Patrick Beverley (left calf strain) and Landry Shamet (left foot sprain) will also be returning to the Clippers lineup after missing the last week to recover.
“No minutes limit [for Shamet or Beverley],” Rivers added. “But obviously I don’t know when the last time they played. Two or three games ago, and we had some practices. Trez will definitely be on a minutes limit, but the other guys, we’ll just kind of watch and see where they’re at.”
The return of all three players means the Clippers are once again at full strength. The last time they played a game with everybody available was on March 8th, in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Overall, the Clippers are 10-1 when everybody is available to play.
Montrezl Harrell is the leading candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, averaging 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game on 58 percent shooting from the field for the Clippers.
The Clippers take on the Mavericks in Game 1 of the first round at 6PM PST on ESPN.