Houston Rockets head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has confirmed Dwight Howard and Clint Capela will both start moving forward.
The decision relegates Terrence Jones to the bench and means the Rockets will play a "Twin Towers" configuration in an effort to improve the team's defense and spark better offensive play. The Howard-Capela pairing showed promise against the 76ers, but memories of Howard-Asik should give analysts pause until the Rockets face a stiffer opponent.
Capela boasts a "real plus minus" of 2.66, good for 11th out of all NBA centers. That ranking outpaces Dwight Howard who is 26th with a 1.45.
At halftime of the Houston Rockets win against the Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Chris Finch said starting Capela was an effort to put their best players on the floor. The Rockets announcement ends confusion that Capela was inserted into the starting lineup to counter a probable Noel-Okafor starting duo.
The Rockets put the lineup to the test on Sunday night against the New York Knicks with the expectation Howard will start on Monday against the Detroit Pistons for his first back-to-back of the season.
JB Bickerstaff says Dwight Howard/Clint Capela in starting lineup was not just based on matchup w/Sixers. Capela will continue as a starter— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) November 28, 2015
With win, JBB likely sticks w/ Capela, Howard starting together. Capela will have to chase Porzingas to 3-pt line but should help on boards.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 28, 2015
Rockets coach JB Bickerstaff said he will continue with the twin towers lineup featuring Dwight Howard and Clint Capela.— Jenny Dial Creech (@jennydialcreech) November 28, 2015
Here's what The Dream Shake wrote about the Howard-Capela configuration on Friday night:
Dwight Howard and Clint Capela looked good on the court together. This was not Howard-Asik. The two big men split to opposite wings on offense and took turns screening for shooters. Drifting to the wings left the middle of the court open for James Harden or Ty Lawson to operate and attack the basket. Several times the 76ers put all of the attention on Howard either preventing him from receiving the ball in the post or attempting to keep him off the offensive glass. The attention Howard received allowed Capela to drift free for several free baskets. They both finished with double-doubles