Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell’s DNPs (Did Not Play) were a significant topic in the LA Lakers’ 2021 NBA playoff demise.
The announcement was full of speculation and speculations about why the defending champs would sign these players only to offer them no playing time in the playoffs. Harrell missed a couple regular-season games as well, but he never complained until the postseason when he didn’t get enough playing time.
The two stars resorted to social media to air their grievances, blaming head coach Frank Vogel obliquely. Andre Drummond responded to a comment on his Instagram post, while Montrezl Harrell tweeted about wasting time.
Drummond’s status remains unknown, and it’s unclear if he’ll play for the LA Lakers next season.
Was Andre Drummond right to be frustrated about his lack of playing time?
Andre Drummond was acquired in the buyout market around the mid-season trade deadline. He played and started 21 games in the regular season for the LA Lakers. Drummond averaged 11.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per game with 24.8 minutes of average playing time.
Out of the six games in the playoffs, he played in the first five games but was asked to sit out in the sixth and elimination game. On an average of 21 minutes per game, he managed to post nine points and 11 rebounds per game.
Andre Drummond was upset over his DNP status in the final game and replied to a comment on his Instagram post.
Andre Drummond wants more playing time 👀 pic.twitter.com/KGBFruRqE5— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 6, 2021
When suggested that he could not dominate the paint like Brook Lopez or Deandre Ayton, Drummond replied saying “tell y’all coach play me more and I could”.
It does seem weird that the LA Lakers would go through so much to acquire Andre Drummond mid-season and then sit him out for the most important game of the year. This could mean the 27-year-old is justified in believing he lacks the trust of his coach and teammates.
However, Drummond also underachieved in the 21 minutes he got during his first five games. When compared to Montrezl Harrell, he played more games and averaged more minutes. Coach Frank Vogel simply felt Marc Gasol was more valuable in the final game and had every right to sit Drummond out.
Andre Drummond had played just 21 games with this team and the chemistry was always off from the get-go. Taking out his frustration via comments on social media that coach Vogel isn’t playing him enough was certainly uncalled for.
Was Montrezl Harrell justified in getting upset over little playing time?
Unlike Andre Drummond, Montrezl Harrell is totally justified in getting upset for his lack of minutes in the playoffs. He was the Sixth Man of the Year in the 2019-20 NBA season and was acquired by the reigning champions with expectations of contributing to a title run.
Harrell went from the best bench player in the league to DNPs and any player would be frustrated with that situation. He was also asked to sit out despite Anthony Davis‘ injury which further fueled the fire.
Worst fucking feeling is wasted time!— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) May 31, 2021
Harrell played just four games compared to Drummond’s five and averaged a measly 9.8 minutes per game. He certainly wanted to play more but was not given the opportunity.
In Game 1, Harrell played 14 minutes and 38 seconds and gave the LA Lakers 12 points on 4-5 shooting from the field along with three rebounds and two steals. He then got two DNPs and a mere 4 minutes and 41 seconds in Game 4 in which he went scoreless and without a shot attempt.
After two more losses, Harrell left the LA Lakers locker room feeling dejected and was certainly right to be frustrated with the team.