It’s now been eleven games since the Houston Rockets swapped Clint Capela for Robert Covington, which is a great opportunity to raise the question of whether the Rockets miss Capela.
Houston Rockets fans, it is always a pleasure to be with you. Earlier this season, the Rockets decided to go all in on “small ball” and traded away their center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks, which landed them forward/center Robert Covington.
The experiment has overall been successful, with the exception of the Rockets getting killed on the glass consistently. As we’ve now had enough time to evaluate life without Capela, the question that’s on the table is “Do the Rockets really miss Clint Capela?”
The first thing to do is examine the games that have been played without him. Have the Rockets suffered some unbelievably BAD losses without him? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The recent loss to the New York Knicks was quite embarrassing.
The Knicks are the type of team that the Rockets should never lose to. However, when you get out-rebounded by 31, it’s going to be really hard to win an NBA game. While watching the game, it was impossible to not think about what would have happened if Clint Capela was in the lineup. The other loss that comes to mind is the home loss against the Utah Jazz, in which the Rockets lost on a buzzer beater.
On one hand, the Jazz were six points worse with center Rudy Gobert on the floor. On another hand, if Capela was guarding the inbound pass, could he have altered the final play drawn up by the Jazz?
On the flip side of that, the team has had some incredibly impressive wins since getting rid of Capela. The top three wins that come to mind are the road win at the Los Angeles Lakers, the home win vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, and a road win at the Jazz.
What do each of these wins have in common? They all came against Western Conference playoff teams. If they playoffs started today, the Houston Rockets would be playing the Utah Jazz in the first round. This team’s ability to get a win on the road in a hostile environment like Utah could be key come playoff time.
The most important aspect of the trade is the style of play that the team has had following the Capela trade. If you ask me, the 2019-20 roster that had Capela was incapable of winning a championship. Why, you ask?
It’s due to the fact that Clint is a defensive liability when the opposing team decides to not play a traditional center. It would not be smart business to have a player on the roster making major money, who is not playable in key playoff situations.
If you look at the current roster, they can match up with any lineup thrown their way. They have already shown that if a team wants to use a traditional center for a majority of the game, they will use and abuse that center with their revamped pick-and-roll scheme.
In closing, I do not miss Clint Capela the basketball player one bit. His presence on the floor heavily impacted James Harden and Russell Westbrook’s ability to get to the basket on a consistent basis.
He was not enough of a defensive or offensive presence to make a substantial impact in the playoffs. The addition of Robert Covington has added a dimension to this team that will be enormous when it comes to covering the likes of LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs
.We would love to hear from you Red Nation… do you miss Clint Capela on this team, or are you happier with the new construction of the roster?