Atlanta Hawks: We can give Clint Capela a leave-pass on the 76ers series

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks were able to get past the Philadelphia 76ers in a hard-fought seven-game series. Every night Clint Capela battled against the best center of this generation, Joel Embiid. As a result, his game suffered for most of the series.

During the regular season, Capela led the league in rebounds with 14.3 per game and was fourth in blocked shots with 2.0 per game. His offense was also surprisingly good, averaging 15.2 points per game, going at 59.4 percent from the field. Receiving the ball on a platter from Trae Young certainly helped this.

Capela had historical numbers throughout the season, including putting up a triple-double for the first time in his career. Given how well he played at the defensive end of the court, he was certainly snubbed for defensive player of the year honors, finishing third amongst all centers, sixth overall.

Why Atlanta Hawks supporters should give Clint Capela a leave-pass

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Capela only averaged 10.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.9 steals. and only 0.4 blocks per game. A big part of why he could not block as many shots is that he was constantly playing Embiid, who was taking Capela out of the paint with his range.

As a result, the 76ers had their way in the paint when Capela was on the court. To compound all of this, when Onyeka Okongwu was on the court, the Hawks did well, particularly as he constantly had the better of his battle with Dwight Howard. It was a case of youth and energy trumping experience.

However, due to the nature of this matchup, Capela looked to be the worse of the two centers. He wasn’t, his matchup was much harder than Okongwu’s but he still battled every minute that he was on the court. He battled hard on every defensive possession and then turned around to battle for the rebound.

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Now that the 76ers are behind him, Caplea has a much better chance of returning to his normal production. He will need to be at his best to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo who is a beast in the paint. Let the battle commence, and we should see Capela patrolling the paint with force.