Montrezl Harrell fired himself up, and then the Washington Wizards forward/center took charge against the Boston Celtics. Just days after publicly blasting himself for poor performance on social media, Harrell bounced back nicely. Harrell dominated Wednesday night as the Celtics paid the price in a 116-107 loss to the Wizards.
Montrezl Harrell is exactly what the Boston Celtics haven’t been
Harrell has been everything the Wizards hoped when they acquired him from the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal involving Russell Westbrook. He’s been a productive jolt of energy off the bench, averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in four games.
“He plays with a different energy,” Wizards Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said, according to The Washington Post.
It’s an energy the Celtics haven’t had in their two home games, both losses. The most recent loss came at the hands of Harrell’s Wizards and that lack of effort was brought into question once again.
“Our intensity wasn’t there from the start,” Udoka said postgame, per NBC Sports Boston. “You could see it in the first quarter. Honestly, the shootaround, where I got on them pretty hard for lack of focus, and it carried over into the game tonight.”
Harrell isn’t short on intensity.
“Trez a dog, man. He’s a dog,” Wizards guard Spencer Dinwiddie said, per The Washington Post. “He’s going to bring it every night, and he’s going to rip your heart out. And I think it’s a certain presence, a certain mentality that permeates the group.”
Montrezl Harrell blasted himself on Twitter and then the Boston Celtics paid the price
The Wizards suffered their first loss of the season Monday when they dropped a 104-90 decision at the Brooklyn Nets. Washington never really was competitive, trailing by 18 points after the first quarter. Harrell clearly wasn’t happy with the loss, but he also wasn’t happy with his output.
He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench. Those aren’t ugly numbers, but they clearly weren’t up to par for Harrell. He made that perfectly clear with a third-person reference on Twitter later that night.
“Unacceptable on all levels Trezz gotta be better a lot better. Simple as that!,” he wrote.
On Wednesday, he was much better and made the Celtics pay.
Harrell made 10 of 13 shots from the floor and led the team in scoring with 25 points. His 11 rebounds were also tops for the Wizards. He came off the bench and managed to play more minutes than anyone else on the team.
Harrell knows his value to the Wizards
Harrell spent the last four years in Los Angeles. From 2017-2022, he played with the Clippers. Last year, he hooked on with the Lakers. In his final season with the Clippers, he was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
With the Wizards, it’s more than just the numbers he’s putting up. It’s the veteran presence and the intensity he brings night in and night out.
“My team feeds off me, man,” Harrell said, according to The Washington Post. “I play with a lot of passion, I play with a lot of heart, I play with a lot of aggression, man, and it’s all generated in the right way, and I think my team does a great job of understanding that.”
The Celtics can learn a lot from Harrell.