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.
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With Chandler Parsons in the first year of his $94 million deal in Memphis, his latest injury proves the Mavericks right in letting him walk in free agency.When Chandler Parsons bolted Houston for Dallas a few summers ago, the Mavericks were ecstatic to land possibly a future cornerstone of the franchise. Parsons came into Dallas and played a stellar first half of his first season before having hybrid micro fracture surgery on his knee in March of 2014. Parsons would cheap nba jerseys authentic miss the rest of the season and appear in just one playoff game that season. Last year, in Parsons’ second year in Dallas, he would start the year on a minute restriction only to have surgery on his meniscus in March and miss the rest of the season for the Mavs. He would never play another game in a Mavericks jersey again. That summer, Parsons elected to opt out of the last year of his three-year deal to become an unrestricted free agent. Thinking that Cuban & Co. was bringing him back, Parsons got a stark surprise when the Mavericks elected to let him walk. Back on the Chris Vernon Podcast in the Fall, Parsons had this to say in regards to free agency. Parsons is honest in the fact that he knows that Dallas let him walk for nothing because they were not sold on his knee problems. That summer, Parsons would sign a four year, $94 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. After playing in just six of the first 30 games of the season in Memphis, the recovery road for Parsons has been brutal. Now, 67 games into the season, Parsons has appeared in just 34 of them and is averaging career low numbers in every main category. Then news broke on Monday concerning Parsons’ status for the rest of the season. The Memphis Grizzlies officially announced that Parsons had a partial tear in his meniscus and is out indefinitely, which ESPN’s Tim MacMahon says is season ending. Now, for the Mavs fans that crucified Cuban & Co. for letting him walk this summer, the decision is looked at as a big win for the Mavericks organization. I am not condoning injuries by no means, but the medical team in Dallas was right and them not handing out $94 million to Parsons was a win for the franchise moving forward. What did the Mavericks do with the money that would have went to Chandler Parsons? They signed Harrison Barnes to a max contract and what a breakout season Barnes has had in Dallas. Barnes has played in all 66 games this season for the Mavericks and is averaging a career high in points with over 20 ppg. He has been a breath of fresh air in somewhat of a rocky season in Dallas and looks to be a young cornerstone of the post-Dirk future. As Mavs fans, we wish Parsons nothing but the best in his injury recovery. But for a franchise that has made some questionable free agent decisions in the past, they got this one right in letting Parsons walk.