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Home / Sport / How the Blazers defend Montrez Harrell and remind the Lakers of their true identity

How the Blazers defend Montrez Harrell and remind the Lakers of their true identity



LeBron James Anthony Davis Lakers won their first 59 games and they lead after three quarters. If last season’s champion team leads after three-quarters, that game is over. They have never achieved such a lead once, and the excellent reliability mainly comes from their excellent defensive ability.

In the fourth quarter (100.8%), no team scored fewer points than the Lakers last season. Before the Orlando bubble burst, they ranked fourth in clutch defense, and then the clutch position improved after the playoffs. It is almost impossible to beat the Lakers late in the game, because it is almost impossible to beat the Lakers late in the game.

On Monday, the Portland Trail Blazers won 59 consecutive victories with a third quarter lead. With three-quarters trailing 85-84, they led the Lakers 31

-22 in the fourth quarter and walked out of Staples Center with a 115-107 victory. Last year’s lineup was not allowed. But Montrez Harrell was not on last year’s list.

The Lakers risked Harrell. By paying him only an intermediate exception, they managed to secure a player whose value in a vacuum far exceeded what they should have. They took him away from the rival Clippers and assumed they were sure that Marc Gasol would be minimized, and they knew they had a more traditional center to make up for his shortcomings. Harrell performed well in the Lakers’ first three games. His scoring, offensive rebounds and vitality are real wealth.

However, these assets are best used on the bench that he can handle himself. Asking him to play at a critical moment will have a goal on his back. This was especially true on Monday, as Frank Vogel kept him on the floor for 15 consecutive minutes of play. By the time Portland realized his exploitability on defense, he was tired of counterattacks. In essence, that is why the Lakers lost the game. The Trail Blazers hunted Harrell in the pick and roll and went extinct.

On the surface, the Lakers decided to make a drastic pick-and-roll on Damian Lillard to prevent his dribble from becoming a simple three-pointer. This trapping works only when the guard immediately kicks the controlling player off the screen, annoying him enough to allow the rest of the defenders to spin in place and possibly force the controlling player to panic. Instead, Harrell fell into a nap, did not show enough effort to Lillard to slow him down, or fell far enough to be unable to fight Enes Kanter. )do anything. He is in the middle of the script, but he has not affected either end of the script.

The next time Portland makes a pick and roll, Harrell will be more attentive, but his performance at McLaren is still not high enough. He left enough room for McCollum to bounce the ball back into Jusuf Nurkic’s pocket. LeBron James spins, but he is not big enough to compete with Nurkic here.

A few games later, Portland caught him for a nap. He will not come suddenly. He was dead, and when he realized that Nurkic’s screen would knock Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of the game, it was too late, and he scrambled to return to McCollum.

As things got worse, the Lakers abandoned their lightning plan to simplify things for Harrell. That doesn’t work either. When he returned to the game, his only resistance to Lillard’s offense was lazy slapping, which resulted in a foul.

Next time under the floor, Portland will transport the dagger. Another Lillard-Nurkic pick and roll. Harrell played the covering role again, but did not notice that Nurkic leaked back into the middle of the floor. Lillard passed the ball to him, allowing him to easily score a layup.

So far, Vogel has seen enough. He took Harrell out of the game and replaced him with Kyle Kuzma, but the damage was done. Portland led the game by eight points in less than two minutes, and the exaggerated fourth quarter Lakers defense scored a staggering 134.8 points per 100 possessions in the final frame. game over. The Blazers won.

This can be avoided on many levels. A healthy and active Anthony Davis may be able to better cover up Harrell’s mistakes. If Harrell takes a break during this 16-minute break, he may be better able to take on the more active defensive role required by Vogel’s game plan. However, this was ultimately a loss for the coach, because Vogel did not put his players in the best possible position for success. He asked an offensive sixth man to defend one of the most dangerous games in basketball, for which he was burned to death.

To some extent, this may be intentional. The Lakers turned four games into a slogan for 72 games. They have 11 players competing for the main game time, and it is not clear which player is the most suitable. When your biggest competitor shares your arena, home court advantage does not have to be the first priority. Vogel’s goal is not to win every regular season game, but to use them to prepare for the playoffs. He wanted to see how Harrell faced his competitors at a critical juncture. His fourth quarter minutes is an experiment.

But this is a failed experiment. The Lakers have now witnessed what happens when they give up their defensive status late in the game. They no longer need to repeat that this is a mistake. Harrell can play an important role in this team. He just can’t play the specific role he was asked to play on Monday. At the critical moment, Davis or Marc Gasol should be at the center to maximize defense and ultimately make the Lakers a champion. That’s the kind of leading ticket that keeps the Lakers hope they will never brag again.




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