The Los Angeles Lakers flamed out of the 2021 NBA Playoffs in epic fashion a few months ago. Although they were the victims of some objectively dirty play from the Phoenix Suns, last year’s champs also struggled to find any semblance of a competent rotation in their first round series. And the end result speaks for itself.
Ever since LA’s season ended, Montrezl Harrell has been extremely active on social media. Whether he’s sending out cryptic jabs at the Lakers, blatant ones, or just issuing cries for help – the 27-year-old can’t seem to stay offline.
It has been very Kevin Durant-esque.
The trend continued this week, when a fan suggested that Harrell’s limited playing time in the playoffs was due to match-up issues, something that Lakers head coach Frank Vogel had insisted was the case.
Harrell pushed back on that narrative.
So what’s the truth? It’s impossible to say. Here are the facts, though: two years ago Harrell averaged 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game on 58 percent shooting, ultimately winning Sixth Man of the Year honors in the process. Last year, in the regular season, he averaged 13.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and .7 blocks per game.
In the playoffs against the Suns? Harrell averaged less than 10 minutes per outing and earned two separate DNPs.
Clearly something happened between Harrell’s star-making performance with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2019-20 and his disappointing playoff run with the Lakers in 2020-21.
Confirms what everyone already knew. https://t.co/7gCpCMD7I1
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 6, 2021
What was that something? It’s impossible to say. At least one Laker suggested there were serious chemistry issues on the roster, but it remains unclear whether that was the problem Harrell had as well.
Harrell was recently linked to a potential blockbuster trade between the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. If it ultimately comes to fruition, it could solve everyone’s problems.
If it doesn’t, however, then the relationship between Harrell and the organization may get a lot worse before it gets better.