The Atlanta Hawks still have defensive issues when Clint Capela sits

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks had another tremendous game from Clint Capela with a double-double. He scored 20 points and had 15 rebounds which again showed that when Capela gets buckets, the Hawks tend to win.

Capela took advantage of the Hornets by going 10-of-11 from the field with layins and dunks being his steady diet. He had six offensive rebounds so he was crucial for the Hawks getting second-chance points

The Swiss pivot was able to achieve these numbers in just under 24 minutes of game time, as he was hampered a little by foul trouble. Capela finished with five fouls for the game, as did his front-court partner John Collins. Fortunately for Collins, his fifth foul came with minutes remaining in the game.

The Atlanta Hawks still have a problem when Clint Capela sits.

When the Hawks announced that last season’s rookie Onyeka Okongwu was going to be out until January with shoulder surgery they were always going to have issues at the backup pivot. They signed Gorgui Dieng during the offseason but he is yet to pan out as a good enough backup.

The Hawks have been using John Collins as the reserve five when Capela sits and this has been working, mostly. However, when the Hornets made their run late in the fourth quarter, it was when Capela was on the bench.

Miles Bridges had a career night with 35 points but it was only down the stretch when Capela sat that he looked his most dangerous. He was able to get what he wanted at the basket. This forced Nate McMillan to bring Capela back despite being in foul trouble.

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Hopefully, when Okongwu comes back this will be less of an issue for the Hawks as he took great pride in his defense. This is still a month away so the Hawks need to find a stop-gap solution until he returns