The Houston Rockets have sent Swiss big man Clint Capela down the the D-League after a middling two week appearance on the Rockets bench. Capela failed to find any minutes outside of two garbage time cameos despite injuries to Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Kostas Papanikolaou.
Capela's most recent two weeks in the NBA were not an audition; they were a learning experience. At 20 years old, 6' 10" and an impressive wingspan rivaling his quick jump, Capela needs time to develop. The Rockets are aware Capela needs to learn to use his body, adapt to the speed of the NBA and learn from coaches and teammates. This isn't a surefire proposition and plenty of NBA prospects have failed to pan out, but this designation back to the Vipers isn't a ruling on Capela's future or current performance.
The Rockets brought Capela up to deal with a continually depleting front court. His Dec. 2 call up coincided with injuries to Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones, sub-optimal performances from Tarik Black and the complete and the self-induced total irrelevance of Joey Dorsey. The move made sense with a best case scenario being 10 minutes of offensive rebounding and shot blocking presence a night. Instead we got an acceptable worst case scenario, two weeks of NBA experience and a humble reminder to continue improving in the D-League.
Capela's seat on the Rockets bench was unintentionally guaranteed by the reassembly of Joey Dorsey's ability to play basketball. Dorsey ended an incomprehensible string of "basketball" with a 7 point, 8 rebound, 3 block performance against Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Safe to say no one saw Dorsey doing anything but picking up some fouls in that contest, but his performance secured him any minutes Capela could have captured.
In the D-League Capela is averaging 14.1 minutes, 9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks.
Want to see Capela for yourself? No problem. Every minute of his garbage time against the Grizzlies can be viewed here:
Yea. That totals zero points. We know.
What We Like:
Capela wasn't afraid to attack the basket on offense. The end result needs some work.
Capela gets up for a big block. That leap though.
What We Don't Like:
Capela tried to do too much. We had already ruled running the fastbreak out of his wheelhouse before this game.
Post moves were reckless. Guy honestly didn't look in control of his post moves.
Lost on offense. When he wasn't trying to post up in the low block he was lost on offense.
Two more takes...
"To say he's struggling would be an understatement." Clyde Drexler
"Gotta get your feet wet sometime." Matt Bullard
We'll see and hear from Clint again. He's got raw talent and skills worth committing to in the short term. Watch for Abel's Vipers Dispatches for future updates.