In their second-round series against the Spurs, the Rockets have used Montrezl Harrell in garbage time of Games 1, 2 and 4 and sat him entirely in Games 3 and 5. His last DNP-CD even came after backup center Nene suffered a season-ending injury.
Among Harrell’s recent Twitter likes:
There are potential caveats: Perhaps these were accidental likes, though that’s less plausible considering the volume of them. Likes aren’t necessarily endorsements. Just because Twitter calls its easiest method for tagging tweets “likes” doesn’t mean Harrell actually likes those tweets.
But the most likely explanation is that Harrell, frustrated about not playing more, wants to support those who agree with his outlook.
Which is totally fine.
Reaching the NBA requires incredible competiveness, and players can’t simply turn that off. Harrell should want to play more.
The problem is San Antonio presents a poor matchup. The 6-foot-8 Harrell’s best skill is being a big man who can switch onto the perimeter, which is less useful against the Spurs’ more-conventional system. San Antonio’s bigs would feast on him inside, his switching adding little value. Harrell wouldn’t spread the floor on the other end, allowing the Spurs to get away with their bigger lineups with few drawbacks.
That’s why Houston is relying on Clint Capela and Ryan Anderson at center. Capela has the size to battle inside with San Antonio’s bigs, and Anderson creates space offensively with his 3-point shooting.
If the Rockets, down 3-2, somehow advance and don’t play Harrell against the Warriors – against whom switching is so important – then I’ll agree with his apparent displeasure.