Houston Rockets: Capela out vs Pacers, Tyson Chandler to start

Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets’ center Clint Capela is out for Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. Here’s why the Rockets will miss his productivity on the glass.

The Houston Rockets are currently riding a five game winning streak, and center Clint Capela’s dominance on the boards has been a big part of that streak. If you recall, Capela has a incentive-laced contract, which pays him $500,000 for having a defensive rebounding percentage of 30 percent or greater.

Capela has had a double-double in each of his last five games, and has actually had at least 20 rebounds in each of his last three games, which has etched him in the Rockets’ history books, courtesy of Statmuse.

Clint Capela is the first Rockets player with three 20-rebound games in a calendar month since Larry Smith in 1991. #OneMission

https://t.co/CwBIzuMFEl pic.twitter.com/QEYFQMTT4Y

— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 14, 2019

Capela has been having a monster year on the boards, which makes it unfortunate that he’s now been ruled out of Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers due to a concussion.

Source: Rockets center Clint Capela is expected to miss Friday's home game against the Pacers. Capela was evaluated for a concussion after a collision when he drew a charge late in Houston's win over the Clippers on Wednesday.

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) November 14, 2019

The Rockets will start Tyson Chandler in place of Capela, and will use the recently called up Isaiah Hartenstein to play reserve minutes during Friday’s game.

Tyson Chandler and Isaiah Hartenstein working out together in practice today. Per D'Antoni, Chandler to start and Hartenstein may get some minutes in the absence of Clint Capela. #Rockets pic.twitter.com/FuiGxa9XuZ

— Coty Davis (@CotyDavis_24) November 14, 2019

The Rockets would be wise to not play Chandler too many minutes during Friday’s contest, as the Rockets have another game on Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the 37-year-old Chandler will need to be able to give it a go in the event that Capela still isn’t ready. This injury to Capela could allow Hartenstein to get some serious minutes out of necessity.

Although Chandler and Harty aren’t the worst options, the Rockets are going to be a much different team without Capela this season.

On the year, Capela has 137 total rebounds, which ranks fifth in the league. Capela also ranks fifth in total defensive rebounds and seventh in offensive rebounds. Capela’s dominance on the boards has him on pace to earn his incentive, as he currently has a defensive rebounding percentage of 31.5 percent, which exceeds the goal of 30 percent.

Not only will the Rockets miss Capela’s dominance on the boards, his defense will also be missed, as he has been the Rockets’ best defender this season. Capela’s defensive rating is the best among Rockets’ starters, and he currently averages 2.2 blocks per game, which is tied for fourth best in the league, so Chandler and Hartenstein have big shoes to fill.

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Hopefully Capela takes his time and doesn’t rush his recovery, because the Rockets will need him to be able to continue this level of play. But in the interim, Chandler and Hartenstein will have to get the job done.