Houston Rockets: Best candidates for NBA awards

By Tevin Williams
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 25: MVP winner James Harden speaks onstage at the 2018 NBA Awards at Barkar Hangar on June 25, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turner Sports)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 25: MVP winner James Harden speaks onstage at the 2018 NBA Awards at Barkar Hangar on June 25, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Turner Sports) /
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Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets blocks a shot by forward LeBron James #23
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images /

Defensive Player of the Year: Clint Capela

For the 24-year-old Clint Capela, the sky is the limit. He could be in the running for Most Improved Player again next year if he takes another big leap forward, and in that case, he would also have a shot at becoming an All-Star.

With his combination of length and athleticism, Capela could be in the mix for the Defensive Player of the Year Award too.

Last season, Capela was fourth in defensive rating, sixth in defensive win shares and 11th in defensive box plus minus. Capela was also second in blocks and eighth in rebounds per game, and he did all of this playing just 27.5 minutes per game. Assuming Capela gets more playing time next season, we should see all of these numbers shoot through the roof.

Capela also thrives in Houston’s switching scheme, because he is such a great perimeter defender for a big. Capela had no problems switching on Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry in the Western Conference Finals and forcing them into fairly difficult shots. This guy is loaded with talent and he should be in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year next season.

Next: Most Valuable Player

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