Unanticipated X-Factors of the Warriors/Clippers Series

Many could have guessed several players for the Warriors and/or Clippers that would vastly impact the outcome of the series. However, I highly doubt that Kevon Looney and Montrezl Harrell would be near the top of many people’s list. As the series was tied up on Monday, due to a miraculous 31-point comeback win by the Clippers, Looney and Harrell have been nothing short of spectacular.

Looney played a much bigger role last season, when DeMarcus Cousins was not on the roster, but has been relegated to reserve minutes in the 2019 playoffs. However, his athleticism and versatile skillset at both ends of the floor have made him a valued piece on the court. Looney has shot exceptionally well in the first two games of the series, 9-10 for 25 points, including a 19-point performance in game 2 on 6-6 from the field.

Harrell, also a reserve role player during this year’s playoffs, has done an amazing job at scoring in bunches for the Clippers. In two games against the Warriors, the Louisville product has done a bunch of damage in the mid-range and been untouchable at the rim. In total Harrell has posted games of 26 and 19 points respectively, while shooting an unbelievable 20-24 from the field. Powering through players in the lane, the athletic big has converted numerous And-1 opportunities to add to his point total.

In comparing the two players, their skills largely mirror each other: athletic big men with shooting touch outside of the lane. Both the Clippers and Warriors do a lot of their damage from behind the arc leaving room for players, like Looney and Harrell, to grab rebounds for layups or have open space to hit shots outside the paint. The playing style of the series has helped them to excel, BUT it’s hard to have expected either to have produced this much thus far.

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