LA Clippers: Montrezl Harrell should win Sixth Man of the Year

LA Clippers Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LA Clippers Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
LA Clippers, Montrezl Harrell
LA Clippers Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

LA Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell has dominated in his role off the bench this season. Here’s why he should be named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.

Forget what we told you yesterday when we said that the LA Clippers’ Lou Williams should win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award for the 2019-20 season.

Well, don’t exactly forget it, but think about it for a minute. Williams is currently the frontrunner to take home the trophy for the fourth time in his 15-year career. But his stiffest competition might come from the seat right next to him on the Clippers bench.

Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell is just as, or more deserving of the award as his teammate. The fifth-year center out of Louisville is averaging nearly as many points-per-game (18.6 compared to 18.7) as Williams, who is touted for his bench scoring prowess. He’s also grabbing 7.1 boards, and blocking 1.1 shots per game in a career-high 27.8 minutes per game. A finalist for the award last season, Harrell may be able to leapfrog his teammate to bring home the trophy this year.

His numbers are just a small part of the reason why Clippers fans think that re-signing him this offseason is a must for the organization.

Harrell is a perfect combination of two classic bench-player archetypes. He can fill up the stat sheet while also providing a boost in energy to any lineup which he is inserted. He provides an intimidating interior presence on defense while rocking the rim in the pick-and-roll on the offensive end. He’s everything a team could want in a big man coming off the bench. The combination makes him a vital piece for the Clippers this season, and a much sought-after free agent in the offseason to come.

Harrell is ranked in the top 20 of NBA players this season in Field Goal Percentage, Field Goals Made, Offensive Rebounds, 2-point Field Goal Percentage, Offensive Win Shares, 2-point Field Goals Made, Offensive Rebound Percentage, Win Shares, 2-point Field Goal Attempts, and Player Efficiency Rating.

He’s fourth on the Clippers in scoring, fifth in minutes played per game, third in rebounds-per-game, and leads the team in blocks-per-game. He also leads the team in mini-documentaries about how they earned their Monsta nickname.

Recent history is not on Harrell’s side as the award has gone primarily to guards and wing players in the past two decades. The last big man to take home Sixth Man of the Year was Danny Manning, a Power Forward with the Phoenix Suns, in the 1997-98 season. A player whose primary position is Center hasn’t taken home the award since Roy Tarpley in 1987-88.

But Harrell is different from most of the reserve Centers in the NBA today. He doesn’t just fit one single role as a rim protector or post-scorer, or rim-runner, he can do a little bit of everything, plus inject the team and crowd with much-needed energy whenever he’s inserted into the game. He’s not a liability on either end of the floor, or just taking up space while the starter gets some rest. There’s a shift in the atmosphere when Monsta Trezz enters the game. That doesn’t happen with many other back up big men across the league.

Next. LA Clippers: Lou Williams should win Sixth Man of the Year. dark

The LA Clippers bench unit is one of the most formidable second lineups in the NBA. It’s only fitting that two of the squad’s leaders should by vying for the award given to the league’s top reserve. Whoever ends up with the trophy, it will be a well-deserved addition to their resume.