After colliding with Karl-Anthony Towns Saturday night, Clint Capela will miss up to six weeks of action with a broken fibula.
Clint Capela has been a vitally important piece to the Houston Rockets‘ system so far this year. He’s averaging career highs in nearly every category, most notably 11.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He’s fourth in the league with 66 dunks so far this season, catching lobs from James Harden on a nightly basis.
The Rockets will miss the Swiss native dearly, especially after officially cutting ties with Donatas Motiejunas just a few days ago. Nene and Montrezl Harrell will both have to step up their minutes, but they can’t offer the kind of rim protection that Capela can. Ryan Anderson could also see some time at center if Mike D’Antoni decides to go with a smaller lineup.
Being only 22 years old, Capela’s rehabilitation could go faster than normal. However, It’s safe to say that he won’t see the court for the entire month of January. The youngster has a good attitude about things, though, which plays a large part in the recovery process.
Tomorrow, the Rockets take one of the few teams with a better record than theirs, the San Antonio Spurs. Even though they’re coming off a 10 game winning streak, the chances of beating Kawhi Leonard and company are slim without the help of their defensive anchor. Overcoming adversity isn’t something Houston can’t get used to, though.
They showcased their mental toughness by rallying from down 12 with just over two minutes left to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. About half of that game was played without Clint, and other players stepped up and filled the gap.
The Rockets, without their starting center, will have to make some changes to their game plan. Normally, defenses are forced to stick with Capela to prevent alley-oops, leaving shooters open when Harden drives. For the time being, the team will have to figure out another way to get open threes.
Nearly every team in the league gets bitten by the injury bug at one point or another, but Red Nation most definitely got the short end of the stick with this development.