Last season was uncharted territory for the Houston Rockets, and coming into the season they made the decision to not retain Dwight Howard and hand the starting job on over to Clint Capela.The Rockets faith in the 22-year-old big man was rewarded as Capela continued his devolvement and took another step forward. He was no Prime Howard, but the Rockets didn’t really need that. They needed someone who was going to dunk the ball and block shots, and that’s what Capela brought to the team. Capela, to the T, fit exactly what the Rockets needed in Mike D’Antoni’s system with James Harden running the offense. In 65 games, Capela posted career highs with 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds a game. During the preseason, Capela struggled with stamina, and many people wondered if Nene would end up starting over him, but D’Antoni stuck with the Swiss big man. Thanks to D’Antoni’s rotation of bigs with Nene and Montrezl Harrell, the third-year center wasn’t overworked, and the Rockets were able to make the most of his nearly 24 minutes a game. Capela during the regular season had one massive setback when he broke his fibula, which caused him to miss 15 games. When he eventually made his return, it would only take Capela two games to round right back into form. Throughout the season, Capela was very consistent scoring thanks to the connection he and James Harden developed. The pick and roll between the two become almost unstoppable. Per NBAstats.com, Harden assisted Capela on 173 (most on the team) shots, which is the most he made to any one player on the team. Of the 173 assists, Harden made to Capela, 163 of them resulted into dunks. One of the big knocks on Capela throughout the regular season would be his inconsistent propensity for rebounding. He’d put together a few good games, but then he’d have a few stinkers. There was never a very good answer for why Capela struggled on the glass, but with Ryan Anderson or whoever else was in the starting lineup, they were never near the glass and it’s hard to win rebound battles when it’s one verse two or three. In the playoffs, the Capela put up monster first games against the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, but once both teams figured out how to take away Harden’s pick and rolls, he’d struggle to find consistent looks. Capela is under contract for next season at about $2.3 million and then will be a restricted free agent in 2018 and, unlike Chandler Parsons, it’s hard to picture the Rockets letting the big Swiss man walk. While Capela did prove the Rockets top brass right by picking him over Howard, he still has a lot more room for growth. It’s unclear if Capela will ever develop much of a shot outside of dunks and layups, but you do see him tinkering around with midrange jumpers from time to time. I am cheap nba jerseys authentic sure each midrange jumper the Rockets are internally fining him (I’m joking of course). Hook shots do seem to be something that could be a big part of Capela’s game if he keeps on developing with it. Two years ago he shot 43 percent on hooks and last season he bumped it up to 49 percent, and there’s no reason he can’t get even better. The next big step for Capela will be averaging 30 minutes a game, and if the team does not bring back Nene, chances are he’ll do it this upcoming season. If he get’s the bump in games, Capela will go from snagging 8 rebounds a game to 10 plus, and he’ll be a double-double machine. This season might have been Capela’s “breakout,” but next season, with another year of growth physically and in the system, he could become one the better centers in the league. With his ability to block shots and dunk the ball, the Rockets could see a younger version or Howard or DeAndre Jordan (relevant considering the Swiss Roll’s new teammate) and with Capela slowly getting better with his free throws, he’ll be much more playable in crunch time, just like he was down the stretch run this past season.
Archive for May, 2017
Erik Karlsson’s ongoing foot issues flared up again Sunday, relegating the Senators’ captain to the locker room for the final period of a 7-0 loss to the Penguins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Karlsson, who’s played the entire postseason with fractures in his left foot, appeared to aggravate the injury when he became entangled with Pittsburgh forward Scott Wilson and twisted his ankle toward the end of the second period. The defenseman went to the locker room and didn’t return for the start of the third period with the Senators trailing 5-0.
Cody Ceci and Derick Brassard joined Karlsson in the dressing room for the third period with undisclosed injuries.
Senators coach cheap nhl jerseys authentic Guy Boucher said after the game all three players were “resting” and could have played if the outcome had been in doubt.
“The score wasn’t what we wanted. We decided to shorten down the bench and get ready for the next game,” Karlsson told reporters.
The Norris Trophy finalist has had no trouble playing through the pain over the last month. In the second round, he was forced to miss the third period of a Game 5 loss to the Rangers because of the injury and returned to scored five points in the final two games of the series to help the Sens to the East finals.
Karlsson, who leads the team with 15 playoff points, skated 12:36 before his exit Sunday.
Asked if he’ll be able to play Tuesday as the Senators attempt to force a Game 7, Karlsson said his injury is a non-issue.
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” he said. “Same as against the Rangers, same mentality, same thing. We all need to move on from this pretty quick. It’s wrong to say but I’d rather lose like this than in overtime or anything.”
LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul and James Harden have been training together since the Houston Rockets acquired Paul from the LA Clippers in a trade last month. They made their public debut as teammates Sunday in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Los Angeles’ famed Drew League.Harden finished with game highs of 27 points and 12 rebounds, while adding six assists and two steals for his LAUNFD (pronounced “L.A. Unified”) team, which pulled out an 83-81 win over a Home Town Favorites team that featured current NBA players Jordan Bell, Delon Wright and Tim Hardaway Jr. In the first half, the two point guards, who now must learn to share a backcourt, seemed to trade off ballhandling and playmaking duties with one player firmly in control of the possession and the other spotting up to shoot. But as the game went on, there was more synergy to their games. It’s a harmonizing process they’ve worked on all summer, in open-court runs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. It’ll continue in the fall as well, as Rockets teammate Bobby Brown said the team is planning to continue to train together in L.A., then again in the Bahamas in late August. It was something the Rockets did last summer as well, as they began learning coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense and facilitating Harden’s change to a lead guard position. “That really helped us jell last year,” Brown said. Despite playing for the Clippers for the previous six seasons, Paul cheap jerseys China had never played in the Drew League before Sunday’s game. Paul watched Harden the week before, though, and he shook off a slow start to finish with 13 points and 10-assists. Before the prior week’s game, Brown informed Paul that he would need to play in order to be eligible for the Drew League playoffs that will start Friday. “CP came to the game last week and he was itching to play,” Brown said. “After that, he texted me saying, ‘Yo, I want to play. Think it would be cool if I could play with y’all?’ I said, ‘No problem. It’s the Drew League, you haven’t played yet. You get your shine, you get your welcoming to the Drew on a good team, with your brother.’ “That was an easy call. He had fun,” added Brown, a four-time Drew League champion. “JH always has fun. Me and James have been playing together for the third year in a row.” It was a star-studded event for the Drew League. Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade made it to the game to watch courtside, along with Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan, who played earlier in the day with Nick Young of the Golden State Warriors and Julius Randle of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The World Cup of Hockey is set to get underway this weekend without Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who won’t play for Team Canada because of a lingering knee issue.
The question now is if Keith will be ready for the start of the Hawks season and general manager Stan Bowman was non-committal Thursday after a news conference for Team North America during World Cup media day at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
“I try not to put any expectations on it,” said Bowman, who is GM for North America. “I guess we’ll just see. He’ll be ready when he’s ready. It’s nothing to be alarmed about but right now we’re not trying to put time frames on it. We’ll have a better feel once we get into exhibition games and if he’s ready to play, he’ll play.”
Keith had surgery Oct. 20 to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee that he suffered during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final and he missed nearly a month last season. On Aug. 24, Keith withdrew from the World Cup citing the continued recovery of his knee.
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“It was Duncan’s decision,” Bowman said. “He just didn’t feel he (could) perform to the level that he needs in a tournament like this.
“You have to respect that. He’s doing better. I think time will tell. I haven’t heard any bad news in terms of that. At the end of this tournament we’ll get some updates on his performance.”
The two-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL’s top defenseman is the Hawks’ workhorse and his absence certainly would affect the team’s depth on the blue line.
“Your first course of action is always just to see wholesale jerseys how it reacts,” Bowman said of Keith’s injury. “You won’t know that until you go through time. Duncan didn’t want to leave Canada high and dry. A lot of our guys have things they played through all year and then nine times out of 10 when they rest up they feel better by training camp. (With) Duncan it just wasn’t up to where he hoped it would be.”
Kruger update: Hawks center Marcus Kruger is expected to be ready for Team Sweden’s tournament opener Sunday against Russia. Kruger left Sweden’s first pre-tournament game with an upper-body injury.
“I’m prepared to play Sunday,” Kruger said. “It’s tough when something like this happens right away. You want to be here playing for your team and your country but at the same time you try to be positive (and) stay patient.”
Former NBA all-star and Miami Heat power forward, Chris Bosh has spoken up about the feud between the two NBA superstars in Cleveland, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. This feud between two of the biggest names in professional basketball has been the main headline in the basketball universe this week. Many professional athletes, NBA superstars and basketball legends have shared their opinions about the “beef” that has been going on. Many have shared insight into what the Cavaliers or LeBron and Kyrie should to squash their differences and get along together, and one of those who has spoken up, is 11-time all-star, Chris Bosh.In a recent interview with TMZ sports, Chris Bosh was asked about the feud between the two superstars, and what his thoughts are on the situation. Chris said that they should ‘work it out’ and proceeded to explain that hashing things out is “always” the best idea. Bosh obviously knows how well these two have been playing together over the past three years and is very close with King James personally, so he would love to see them playing with each other once again this upcoming season. Chris Bosh recently hinted that he would love to come back to play professional basketball again, stating that playing alongside LeBron James again would be something he would love to do. And from his standpoint, he would probably love to play with Kyrie Irving also if he got the chance to play on the Cleveland Cavaliers team in the near future. Kyrie Irving obviously at this point is seeking a trade so he can be the face of a team and write his own path, and this is something that Chris Bosh holds respect for. Bosh when asked about Irving’s desire to write his own legacy instead of being looked at as the King’s sidekick said, “Absolutely, that’s what we all want right?” Bosh experienced this during his first seven years cheap jerseys authentic in the league as a member of the Toronto Raptors. He did play with some star talent including Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and a young DeMar DeRozan, but for the most part, it was his team and he orchestrated the show. He then decided to take the opportunity at playing with Dwyane Wade to compete for a championship, as LeBron also joined up. It paid off for CB as he won a championship title in 2012 and 2013. Now, after suffering from many health related issues over the past few years, Bosh is looking to make a return to the NBA.