The Houston Rockets have not had an extremely reliable center in recent years. That begs the question: Is Clint Capela really the center that the Rockets need to propel them to championship contender status?
The Houston Rockets have seemed to be in desperate need of a star center and have young talent at the position now, but is it enough?
Clint Capela has been the main guy down on the block this season after being nothing but a shadow to Dwight Howard the previous two years in the league. We all know how the Howard deal worked out. He averaged 18.3 points per game in his first season with the Rockets, but his production went downhill over the next two years.
Article continues below ...
Capela showed glimpses of greatness but seemed timid at times, not ready to embrace his role on the team. He’s finally finding the confidence that the Rockets need him to have, but they’re still hoping the sky is the limit for the young 22-year-old.
Capela has seen his numbers climb in his three-year NBA stint, beginning in 2014. He did not start any games his rookie year and was hampered with injuries, only playing in 12 games total. His sophomore outing was much better. Playing in 77 games, Capela was able to learn from Howard and get his fair share of the starting lineup.
This season, Capela is averaging 12.0 points per game in 42 games and notching 1.4 blocks a night as well. He is also second on the team in rebounds (7.5 per game), which is alarming. James Harden currently leads the team in rebounds, but if Capela wants to be a dominant center, his rebounding numbers will need to improve. With his athletic ability and skill, he is easily capable of averaging 10+ rebounds a game.
Capela has been an extremely solid center for Houston and is unbelievably productive when the ball is in his hands. Shooting 64.5 percent from the floor, which ranks him second in the league, he has proven to be a “sky’s the limit” type center in today’s guard-heavy league.
The Rockets need to continue to shape Capela into a center that doesn’t just get the job done but a center that they can rely on both ends of the floor. They need a center that doesn’t require the ball in his hands to be productive.
That’s where Capela can improve.
He has shown great strides, but needs to be more aggressive in order to be relied upon moving forward. He can be soft at times on the block but has shown potential and in today’s NBA, potential speaks volumes.
Still being a center in the works, Capela is in a good place in his career. He has the MVP frontrunner leading the team right now and seems to only be able to go up. He has a long way from being an elite center, but the Rockets might have found their center of the future.