Clippers' Montrezl Harrell to Miss Restart Game vs. Lakers Due to Family Matter

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell stands on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 136-130. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell will miss the team's first game of the 2019-20 NBA season restart against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, and it is "unclear when he will return to the NBA's Disney bubble."

Harrell was given an excused absence and left the Clippers last week to attend to a family matter. 

Harrell will have to quarantine for two days once he does return from the NBA bubble, though Haynes reported that "he has tested negative for COVID-19 each day he's been away."

The Clippers could be fairly shorthanded when NBA action resumes Thursday. Lou Williams is out for the first two games since the NBA ruled he would need to be quarantined for 10 days after he went to get food at a strip club in Atlanta while he was on an excused absence to attend a funeral. 

Landry Shamet, Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac are also possibilities for Thursday's game, though their status for the matchup isn't solidified at this point. 

Harrell, 26, is one of the team's most important players, averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this year. Despite mostly coming off the bench, he is often on the court during crunch time, and his pick-and-roll partnership with Williams is devastating for opposing second units. 

He's one reason why the Clippers head into the restart on the short list of favorites to win a title this year. Few teams can match their star power (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George), their handful of players capable of creating their own shot in crunch time (Leonard, George and Williams), their defensive upside or their overall depth. 

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That depth might be tested early in the remaining regular-season games, however. 

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