The Rockets have split the two games they’ve played without their young center.
The Houston Rockets just had their winning streak snapped at the hands of the Lakers. One of the players who sat out with injury, Clint Capela, was especially missed on both ends of the court.
Clint Capela is in the midst of his best season yet as a pro. He is averaging 14 points and 11.3 rebounds per game for the first place Rockets. He is also blocking a career-high 1.8 shots per night, showing how he has improved as a defensive presence. Oh yeah, and he’s doing it in only 25.5 minutes per game.
Clint Capela’s per 36 minutes stats are pretty absurd as well: 19.8 points, 15.9 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. Not too shabby.
The importance of Clint Capela
Capela is a vital part of the Rockets’ game plan on both ends of the court. He has been sorely missed whenever he is out with calf injury.
On offense, the Rockets desperately need Capela to run the pick and roll with. Nene is decent at it, but Clint is an elite pick and roll screener. James Harden can almost guarantee a bucket or assist every time he is able to run the play with him. No offense to Tarik Black, but he looks lost out there at times. Having Capela and Nene running the plays all night is greatly beneficial to the Rockets.
On defense, the Rockets missed the versatility of Clint Capela. Tarik Black and Nene are good defenders most of the time but they are fairly one-dimensional. If needed, Clint can switch on screens and guard other positions decently. That was missed last night against a fast-paced Lakers squad.
A look at next game
Clint Capela is doubtful for tomorrow night’s game against the Clippers. This is a bad loss for the Rockets as they will be going up against DeAndre Jordan, one of the best rebounders in the league. If Larry Nance Jr. was getting all those rebounds last night, imagine what Jordan will do. Nene and Black will need to do an especially great job keeping him in check if the Rockets want to win. Hopefully, Clint Capela comes back soon.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*