Why is Montrezl Harrell a Good Defender?

Morgan Wolf

Montrezl Harrell is often described as a “high energy” player who brings intensity to every game he plays. While he is certainly known for his offensive prowess, Harrell’s defensive abilities often go overlooked.

In reality, Harrell is a versatile and effective defender who can guard multiple positions and disrupt opposing offenses with his quick hands and tenacious style of play. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the key factors that make Montrezl Harrell a good defender.

Why is Montrezl Harrell a Good Defender

Source: images2.minutemediacdn

Why is Montrezl Harrell a Good Defender?

This is a discussion thread among Lakers fans regarding the team’s decision to sign Montrezl Harrell in the offseason. Some fans are optimistic about the move, seeing Harrell as a valuable addition to the team’s offense and a solid backup for Anthony Davis. Others express concerns about Harrell’s defensive abilities and the impact of the team’s hard cap limitations on their roster.

One fan notes that Howard played a key role in the Denver series and was a difference maker in the Heat series, but Harrell brings a different type of energy to the team. Another fan adds that Harrell’s value might have been higher if he had played better in the playoffs, but he still has the potential to improve his game.

Several fans compare Harrell to other undersized big men, such as Faried and Amare Stoudemire, and discuss his strengths and weaknesses as a player. Some fans express concern about the team’s ability to retain other key players due to their hard cap limitations, while others remain optimistic about the team’s prospects for the upcoming season.

Rim Protection

Montrezl Harrell has been a consistent force on the defensive end throughout his career, and his rim protection is no exception. Despite being only 6’7″, Harrell has shown an ability to challenge even the biggest players in the league at the rim.

Over the years, Harrell’s shot-blocking and contesting abilities have improved significantly. In his first year with the Clippers, he averaged just 0.7 blocks per game, but that number has steadily increased over the past few seasons. In the 2019-2020 season, Harrell averaged a career-high 1.1 blocks per game, showing that he has become more comfortable and confident as a rim protector.

Harrell’s ability to contest shots at the rim is equally impressive. In the 2020-2021 season, he averaged 3.7 contested shots per game, ranking him in the top 20 among all players in the league. This is a testament to his quick reflexes, athleticism, and willingness to put his body on the line to make a defensive stop.

Furthermore, Harrell has played a key role in anchoring the Clippers’ defense. In the 2019-2020 season, the Clippers boasted the fourth-best defense in the league, largely thanks to Harrell’s contributions. His energy and intensity on the defensive end helped set the tone for the team and made it clear that defense was a priority.

Overall, Harrell’s rim protection skills are a major asset for any team he plays for. His ability to block shots and contest at the rim, combined with his willingness to do the dirty work, make him a valuable defensive player who can impact the game in a variety of ways.

Defensive Versatility

Montrezl Harrell’s defensive versatility is a major reason why he is a good defender. Despite his size (6’7″), Harrell is able to guard players in different positions effectively. His quick feet and lateral movement allow him to switch and cover multiple positions on the court.

Harrell is often called upon to guard the opposing team’s best big man, but he has also shown his ability to guard smaller players on the perimeter. Harrell’s versatility is evident in his statistics. According to NBA.com, he ranked in the 91st percentile in defending isolation plays in the 2019-2020 season, allowing only 0.66 points per possession.

This is an impressive statistic for a player who is primarily a center. Harrell’s ability to guard smaller players on the perimeter is also evident in his ability to defend pick-and-roll situations. In the same season, he ranked in the 87th percentile in defending the roll man, allowing only 0.93 points per possession.

Harrell’s defensive versatility has also been crucial in the playoffs. In the 2019-2020 playoffs, Harrell was called upon to guard Nikola Jokic, one of the league’s best centers, in the Western Conference Semifinals. Harrell was able to use his quick feet and strength to make it difficult for Jokic to score in the post. Harrell’s defense was a key factor in the Clippers’ ability to push the series to seven games.

Overall, Harrell’s defensive versatility is a major reason why he is a good defender. His ability to guard players in different positions effectively and his ability to switch and cover multiple positions on the court make him a valuable asset to any team’s defense.

Defensive Iq

Montrezl Harrell’s defensive IQ is one of the most underrated aspects of his game. His ability to read plays and anticipate opponents’ moves has made him a valuable defensive asset for the teams he has played for. Harrell’s instincts and awareness on the defensive end are some of his most impressive attributes.

One of the things that Harrell does extremely well is pick up on the tendencies of the players he is guarding. He studies his opponents’ moves and anticipates their actions, allowing him to be in the right position at the right time to make plays. This is particularly evident when Harrell is defending the pick-and-roll, as he has a great sense of timing when it comes to hedging and recovering.

Harrell also has a keen understanding of positioning on the court, which allows him to be in the right spot to contest shots and make deflections. He has excellent footwork, which enables him to stay in front of his man and cut off driving lanes. He is also adept at recognizing and reacting to off-ball movement, allowing him to disrupt passing lanes and make steals.

Harrell’s ability to communicate on defense is also a key part of his high basketball IQ. He is constantly talking to his teammates, directing them where to be and what to do. This level of communication is critical for a team’s defense to be effective, and Harrell’s leadership in this area is invaluable.

Another aspect of Harrell’s defensive IQ is his ability to stay disciplined and avoid fouling. Despite being a physical player, Harrell rarely commits unnecessary fouls, which is a testament to his understanding of how to play defense without being overly aggressive.

Overall, Harrell’s defensive IQ is a significant factor in his effectiveness as a defender. His ability to read plays, anticipate opponents’ moves, communicate effectively, and stay disciplined has made him a valuable asset for the teams he has played for.

Effort and Intensity

Harrell’s effort and intensity on defense are remarkable, and it’s one of the reasons he is such an effective defender. He plays with a high level of energy and passion, which translates to the defensive end of the court. Harrell’s relentless motor enables him to be a disruptive force on defense, constantly pressuring the ball-handler and forcing turnovers.

Harrell is always moving and active on defense, never giving his opponent a moment of rest. He is constantly jumping passing lanes, contesting shots, and fighting for rebounds. Harrell’s active hands and quick feet allow him to steal the ball and create turnovers, which often leads to easy transition baskets for his team.

Additionally, Harrell’s effort and intensity have a positive effect on his teammates, as it raises their level of play on the defensive end of the court. He leads by example, and his energy is contagious, inspiring his teammates to play with the same level of intensity.

Furthermore, Harrell’s effort and intensity allow him to overcome his lack of size and strength, making him a versatile defender. He uses his quickness and agility to stay in front of smaller, quicker players, while his tenacity and physicality allow him to match up against bigger opponents.

Harrell’s effort and intensity on defense are invaluable to his team, and it’s what sets him apart as a great defender. He is a relentless defender who plays with passion and energy, which translates to his team’s success on the defensive end of the court. His active hands, quick feet, and disruptive nature make him a valuable asset to any team’s defense.

Montrezl Harrell’s Defensive Stats (2018-2021)

Defensive Box Plus/Minus1.11.10.6
Defensive Rebounds3.84.24.2
Defensive Field Goal Percentage60.1%56.7%61.4%

Note: Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) is an advanced statistic that estimates a player’s contribution to their team’s defense per 100 possessions, with a positive value indicating above-average defense.


What is Montrezl Harrell’s defensive rating?

Montrezl Harrell’s defensive rating varies depending on the season, but in general, it is considered to be above average. In the 2020-2021 NBA season, his defensive rating was 109.4.

How does Montrezl Harrell compare to other NBA players on defense?

When compared to other NBA players, Montrezl Harrell is generally considered to be an above-average defender. He is known for his rim protection, versatility, defensive IQ, effort, and intensity.

How does Montrezl Harrell’s defensive skills impact his team’s performance?

Montrezl Harrell’s defensive skills have a significant impact on his team’s performance. He is known for his ability to protect the rim, guard multiple positions, read plays, and create turnovers. This makes him a valuable defensive asset to any team he plays for.

What are some areas where Montrezl Harrell could improve defensively?

While Montrezl Harrell is considered to be an excellent defender, there are some areas where he could improve. For example, he could work on his lateral quickness to improve his ability to stay in front of his man on the perimeter. Additionally, he could work on his defensive rebounding to prevent second-chance opportunities for the opposing team.

How has Montrezl Harrell’s defensive performance changed throughout his career?

Montrezl Harrell’s defensive performance has improved significantly throughout his career. When he first entered the NBA, he was primarily known for his offensive abilities. However, as he has gained more experience, he has become a more well-rounded player, and his defensive skills have improved as a result.


Montrezl Harrell’s defensive skills are often overlooked due to his offensive talents. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that Harrell is a formidable defender who possesses rim protection, versatility, defensive IQ, effort, and intensity. His shot-blocking and contesting abilities have improved over the years, and he has been able to guard players in different positions effectively.

Harrell’s understanding of positioning and timing, as well as his relentless motor and energy, make him a valuable asset on the defensive end. Despite his size, Harrell has proven himself to be a dominant defender, and his contributions on defense cannot be overlooked.

Photo of author

Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn

Leave a Comment