The Los Angeles Clippers are currently the number one ranked team in the Western Conference, holding down a 12-6 record. Along with the Memphis Grizzlies, they have been one of the more surprising teams thus far, largely due to the impressive play of Montrezl Harrell. He flashed plenty of upside towards the back end of last season but has taken his production to another level in 2018-19.
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The Montrezl Harrell Breakout
Harrell is the 36th ranked player in standard leagues thus far, while only playing in 25.3 minutes per game. Across the last two weeks, Harrell has played over 30 minutes per game and is the 17th ranked player. He was likely taken at around pick 100 in most drafts, which obviously makes him a high-value selection.
Montrezl Harrell – Fantasy Takeways
The first takeaway from his numbers is the increase in playing time. DeAndre Jordan signed with the Dallas Mavericks, opening up additional minutes for Harrell. The acquisition of Gortat certainly shut down some of the preseason hype but has not affected his production. Harrell’s energy off the bench is infectious, thus affording him plenty of opportunities to put up some tasty numbers.
With increased playing time comes increased production and Harrell has provided that in spades. His ability to score the basketball with high efficiency is well documented. It is his defensive numbers that have seen the biggest increase. Given the additional playing time, it is hard to gauge just how much his defense has improved. His per 36 numbers, however, paint a much clearer picture. From last season to this season, his steals have gone from 1.0 to 1.5, and his blocks from 1.4 to 2.6. In fact, Harrell is currently the 14th ranked player when it comes to blocks.
Harrell has also made big strides when it comes to free-throw shooting. An increase of almost 10 percent on double the volume of last season provides a huge boost to his overall value. Across the last two weeks, he is hitting almost 75 percent of his free-throws on 8.4 attempts per game. If he can maintain that type of efficiency, he certainly moves out of punt free-throw territory.
Harrell is shooting almost 75 percent of his shots from within three feet of the basket, converting an astonishing 76 percent of those attempts. He finds ways to score at the rim with amazing regularity, with his 65.4 field-goal percentage ranking him fifth in the league. There is no reason to think this will change given his career mark sits at 64.5 percent.
Montrezl Harrell – Moving Forward
Despite continuing to come off the bench, Harrell often finishes games in lieu of Marcin Gortat. There is no reason to think Harrell will move into the starting lineup at any time soon, nor should he want to. He plays starter minutes on a nightly basis making him the center to own on the Clippers. Harrell is only 24 years of age which means he certainly has room to develop even further. There is a potential to sell high right now if you believe the production is unsustainable. That being said, he is one of the more fun players to own. Given you may have even acquired him off waivers in some leagues, sit back and enjoy the ride.
For player rankings and projections, check out the Basketball Monster website or follow @baskmonster on twitter.
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