While Clint Capela is yet to play a game for the Atlanta Hawks, it’s exciting to imagine the impact he will have defensively when he finally plays for them.
Since the Houston Rockets decided they were better off in a “small ball system”, they traded away their starting big man Clint Capela. And now that Capela is on the Atlanta Hawks, he is looking to bring his playoff experience to a young Hawks team who is on the rise.
Due to being one of the leagues best rim protectors, Capela can be a driving force on the defensive end for this team, looking to set the tone on that end of the floor.
The Hawks have been a gruesome defensive team, to say the least. With so many blown defensive covers, teams have just dismantled this young team and embarrassed them on many occasions.
Before the season’s suspension, the Hawks were ranked 26th in defense, giving up 114 points per game to their opponents. As great of a coach Lloyd Pierce has the potential to become, it is time to preach more defense to this roster. Capela will look to do that once he officially puts on an Atlanta Hawks uniform.
Before being traded, Capela was having a very underrated season. It may have just been overlooked due to Mike D’Antoni no longer needing his assistance on the floor. Capela was averaging 13.9 points and 13.8 rebounds in 39 games for Houston.
Throughout his young career, Capela has always been very crafty on the defensive end. His size and attention to detail gives many big man problems down low. Just imagine his defensive presence impacting the younger players on the team. The ability to get a stop on the defensive end would really take Atlanta to another level as a playoff contender.
Without Capela down low, Houston doesn’t have the success that they’ve had over the past 2-3 seasons. For example, in the 2018 playoffs, Capela was a strong defensive strength making big stops on Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert. He even had his defensive moments in the Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Without his presence in the middle, Houston would not have been able to force Golden State up to 7 games that series. It was all due to him that helped create fast-break opportunities for James Harden and the other Rocket players for Houston. They may not realize it now, but in the long run, Houston will miss the presence of Capela.
With Capela bringing defensive toughness to the franchise, he can help guys in John Collins and Damian Jones become a better presence when defending under the basket. Both Collins and Jones are two big bodies who understand the need to step up when going up against some of the elite centers around the NBA.
Hopefully, Capela will rub some of his toughness off on them. The two young Hawks bigs have the potential to be great together. Becoming a better defender down low will just elevate their play in a positive way. And it will make the Atlanta Hawks even more dangerous having the ability to dominate on both ends.
Even though Capela hasn’t played a game with the Hawks as of yet, his impact will be huge playing with the other guys on the floor. We expect him to succeed in pick and roll situations with Trae Young. But the best thing Capela is going to provide is defense in the painted area for Atlanta.
It will take some time, but everyone expects for the Hawks to turn things around within the next few years. They are still figuring things out, but once they do they will take off and become one of the bigger threats in the NBA soon.
The one thing who will make a great impact in their turnaround is the defensive impact of Clint Capela.