Montrezl Harrell clears quarantine Monday in time for Clippers’ shoot-around
Clippers center Montrezl Harrell emerged from the NBA’s quarantine process Monday morning in time to participate in the team’s shoot-around, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Times, a clearance that came hours before the Clippers play Dallas in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
It was Harrell’s first time on the court with teammates since he left the league’s restart site at Disney World near Orlando, Fla., on July 17. Harrell left because of a family emergency and later posted on social media that his grandmother had died. Harrell returned one week ago and coach Doc Rivers initially said he was hopeful the 6-foot-7 center would be able to play in the team’s final seeding game Friday. Instead of a four-day quarantine, however, the league required a seven-day stay.
“We’re mad about the days he got,” teammate JaMychal Green said Sunday. “But there’s nothing we can do about that but continue to move forward and get to that championship. That’s the goal.”
Per league rules, Harrell was free to leave his room for 30 minutes each day for exercise under socially distant supervision and spent it “running outside his room,” Rivers said. The team also delivered a weight set and exercise bike to Harrell’s room and connected him to the team’s practices and film sessions via video.
The Clippers had relative success keeping Luka Doncic under control in their three victories over the Dallas Mavericks this season.
“We hold the camera phone, whatever it’s called, he at least can watch our film sessions,” Rivers said. “But other than that, listen, he hasn’t played in a month. We are really surprised that he had to be in quarantine as long as he’s been in, considering other cases, but it is what it is. And the tough part is how much he’ll have to learn, if any.”
Rivers has said that he will not hesitate to play Harrell despite his long absence. Harrell joins teammate Lou Williams as two finalists for the league’s top reserve award, with Harrell averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. The team officially listed him as questionable to play against the Mavericks on Monday. Also questionable were guards Patrick Beverley (left calf strain) and Landry Shamet (left foot strain).
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