Montrezl Harrell has been a pleasant surprise for the Clippers
Each game it seems as if Montrezl Harrell is showing his offensive potential.
And that has been a positive for Harrell and the Clippers.
When Harrell arrived from the Houston Rockets as part of the Chris Paul trade, the Clippers didn’t know what they were getting.
He didn’t play much during his first two seasons in Houston in a backup big-man role.
But the Clippers have gotten a player who hustles all the time and plays with energy.
“You just learn more and more about him as you coach him,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “You never know a guy until you coach a guy. When we got him, we looked at him as an energy guy, a guy that can play defense. That’s what he did everywhere he’s been.
“And then every practice he gets in, he keeps scoring. And scoring. And then we started thinking, ‘Maybe he can score a little bit.’ He’s been better than that. He’s been great. He just plays hard too.”
The Clippers don’t run any plays for Harrell, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
He was averaging a career-high 10.3 points per game and 4.0 rebounds entering Saturday, then scored 13 points in 14 minutes against the Orlando Magic at Staples Center.
He’s shooting 63.1% from the field and is playing just 16.2 minutes per game as the backup center.
“We throw it to him,” Rivers said. “Our game is speed and transition, so if he’s open, we give him the ball. We want him to early post, so I guess that would be his play, is through early post.
“But as far as coming out of a play running, ‘five-down,’ we haven’t run that yet. He can score and our guys recognize that. As long as we keep playing the way we’re playing unselfish, the ball will find the energy and he’s the energy. So he’s been great for us.”
Clippers return to Hawaii for camp
For the second consecutive year, the Clippers have training camp in Hawaii, the team announced Saturday.
The Clippers will have their practice sessions on the campus of the University of Hawaii. Camp will start in late September.
The Clippers spent 10 days in Hawaii last year and played two exhibition games against the Toronto Raptors.
“Hawaii was great,” Rivers said. “I thought it was a great team-building trip for us. Going out in the water, doing the little races and all that stuff. It wasn’t a distraction. It was really good.”