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Houston Rockets: Clint Capela must be more of a factor in this series

By Michael Knight
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 28: Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors during Game One of the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 28: Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors during Game One of the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
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In Game 1, the Houston Rockets practically had a no-show from their starting center. If they want to beat the Warriors, they’re going to need much more from him.

The Houston Rockets dropped a disappointing and ugly Game 1 this afternoon 104-100 to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. In a game that featured much complaining about the officiating (what’s new in series against them), there were some other big reasons why the Rockets lost the first contest.

We’ll get into more of those tomorrow, but the big one involved the play of Clint Capela. He gave Houston next to nothing in this game and he must be better if they want a shot at beating the Warriors.

Here are a couple of ways that he disappointed in the first game:

His offense

Capela was getting locked up a bit on offense. He had just one finish via the alley-oop and knocked down two free throws, but that was it. He ended with just four points on a measly 1/2 shooting overall. His only other shot attempt came when he had to force something up as the shot clock expired.

He also couldn’t catch to save his life. There were multiple opportunities where he had the chance to catch a pass and make a play, but he fumbled it. That’s something that just can’t happen, especially against a team like the Warriors that make you pay for your mistakes.

His rebounding

The more frustrating part of his game today, though, was his rebounding. He had just six total rebounds, which unfortunately somehow led the team. This was a team-wide issue, but it starts with your center.

He was getting out-hustled by Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney on the defensive glass and it allowed quite a few second chance opportunities for the Warriors. They had a ton of extra possessions that seemed to happen at the worst possible times near the end of the game thanks to a poor effort with rebounding the basketball.

Clint Capela was a team-worst -17 today, so it was pretty evident where the Rockets truly struggled. If he continues to play this way, expect more minutes to go to Nene, who played great, and P.J. Tucker at center as the Rockets find a way to compete with the Warriors on both ends of the court.

Refs admitted four missed calls. Next

He’ll have a chance at redemption on Tuesday night. Last year, Capela showed that he was fairly effective when guarding the guards as well as Kevin Durant at times. With his regression in that aspect this season, it’s tough to play him if he’s going to be a poor rebounder.

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