The LA Clippers cannot be afraid to rest Montrezl Harrell in the 4th quarter

Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

During Tuesday’s win, Montrezl Harrell continued to play after rolling his ankle. The LA Clippers need to be cautious in situations and think long-term.

With about 3:25 left in the third quarter of Tuesday night’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Montrezl Harrell rolled his ankle after getting his foot caught on Dennis Schroder. At the time, the LA Clippers were up by 16 points. Harrell hobbled to the bench after about 30 seconds of lying on the ground in pain.

By the start of the fourth quarter, he was back on the floor, much to the disappointment of Clipper Nation. Hindsight is 20/20 but the team needs to better evaluate situations like this, especially when they believe a championship is the ultimate goal.

The issue isn’t with Trezz’s play (he was great in the fourth quarter) but instead with the lack of necessity of him being on the court and the risk of re-injuring the ankle. To no one’s surprise, Trezz eventually rolled the ankle again and came out for the rest of the night.

Sure, seeding matters and I’m willing to bet that Doc Rivers wanted to ensure the victory given the Thunder are right in the midst of the playoff race. I get that Doc also wants to have Trezz in late and in certain games he cannot afford to go without his offense but again, it’s all about context. Trezz had 16 points and was efficient but the Clippers had a pretty secure lead and he could have easily come out on top even without him on

When the re-injury occurred, the Clips led 98-79. He easily could have come out minutes earlier and the team would have still handily won the game. Luckily for the team and Montrezl, the injury likely isn’t serious and he will probably go off against a small Houston Rockets team on Thursday. Still, what if it had been? What if it had been a similar situation with another player?

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The Clippers have such high aspirations this postseason and any injury could cut those short. I implore the team to be a tiny bit more cautious with the remainder of the regular season. Clipper Nation wants the team to be healthy and to contend for a title. Is that too much to ask?