In last night’s 107-91 Houston Rockets defeat at the hands of the Utah Jazz in Game 4, Clint Capela was noticeably sluggish and had his worst game of these playoffs, finishing with just 4 points and 7 rebounds. He also played just 27 minutes of action and was a game-worst -20 on the night. At least now we know why. Capela is reportedly dealing with two different respiratory illnesses right now.
Rockets center Clint Capela told ESPN he was diagnosed with two viruses (adenovirus and klebsiella) during a doctor visit Sunday. "It's tough, man," said Capela, who was told it will be another four days until he's recovered. "I'm just going to fight it the best that I can."— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 23, 2019
The adenovirus is obviously a viral infection, while klebisella is a bacterial infection. Capela is currently on medication, but is struggling to get through this nasty episode, saying:
“It’s tough, man. Especially when I try to breathe, it’s hard. I’m just going to fight it the best that I can.”
As a result, Houston had very little inside presence against the Jazz last night and were completely dusted underneath the bucket, losing points in the paint on the evening by 52-22.
We’ve been talking all along how essential Clint Capela was in this series. I even mentioned it in my series prediction, that Capela was the key to how long this series would go. Spank Rudy Gobert and the Jazz inside like he did last year, and it’d likely be short. If he struggles, it gives the Jazz a window, because they’ll have a clear inside advantage with Gobert and Derrick Favors.
Now that it’s going to be at least four days before Capela is back to full strength, that’s going to definitely run through Game 5 on Wednesday and potentially even Game 6 on Friday.
Now suddenly, a Jazz team that was on the ropes and ready to be KO’d has a small sliver of a window open. They have momentum after last night’s win, and it just got nudged open ever so slightly with this news of Capela’s illness.
Hopefully the Rockets can come out tomorrow and land the knockout punch to give Capela time to rest up and get better before the second round.
Get well soon, Clint!