Hawks' Clint Capela triggers fans with painful playoff memory: 'Been there'

Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela opened old wounds for fans with comments after Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela
Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela / Paras Griffin/GettyImages

Atlanta Hawks big man Clint Capela has seen some things in his time. He's been in three Game 7s in his career. He has been fortunate enough to win two of the three.

One came with the Hawks against the Philadelphia 76ers in 2021. The other, his first, came with the Houston Rockets versus the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015. However, that one loss – versus the Golden State Warriors in 2018 – still sticks with the former rebounding champion.

His reminiscing on social media triggered his former fanbase.

“Up double digits at half and lose a game 7 at home.. ugh been there,” Capela posted on X on May 19. “WOLVES GOT SIZE!”

“Brought back memories I was trying to forget,” one fan replied to Capela.

The Rockets overcame a 1-2 deficit, winning Games 4 and 5 of the series versus the eventual repeat champion Warriors. But they dropped Game 6, saw their 11-point halftime lead erased with a 33-15 third quarter, and were unable to recover in Game 7.

Clint pls why do you have to remind us,” another fan posted, including a sad faced emoji for emphasis.

cmon clint,” said yet another fan.

Capela spent two more seasons in Houston after that. But the Rockets failed to make it beyond the second round the following year, eliminated once again by the Warriors, this time in six games.

Those Rockets failed to make the postseason altogether in 2020 as Capela appeared in just 39 games, missing the second half of the campaign.

The Hawks acquired Capela the following offseason.

He was an integral part of the Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals the year they toppled Philly. But as he heads into the final year of his two-year, $45.8 million contract, Capela’s future has become murky at best.

Still, Capela – like teammate Trae Young under similar circumstances – has kept his focus on basketball.

Hawks’ Clint Capela calls Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic a ‘bully’

The 98-90 win saw the Timberwolves overcome a 20-point deficit, including a 15-point hole at the break. Perhaps the most notable part of Capela’s assessment is that it followed his praise of Nuggets star reigning three-time MVP Nikola Jokic.

“This brate [brother] is a bully,” Capela posted about Jokic during the contest.

But even Jokic had to acknowledge how the Wolves’ roster impacted them after his team’s title defense came to an early end.

Young also acknowledged the Wolves’ roster, notably constructed with lengthy, defensive options at every position. It’s a recipe the Hawks have yet to master but would be very wise to, arguably before breaking up their star backcourt.

That could mean Capela is on the move this offseason.

He was better than his season numbers show over the last month-plus of the regular slate, averaging 12.4 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.2 blocks over the final 21 games.