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Houston was outscored by over 15 points per 100 possessions with Clint Capela on court against Warriors

Clint Capela

Many believed coming into yet another series between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets that the play of Clint Capela could be what decided it. Six games and another Warriors victory later, there’s an argument to be that assumption came to fruition, just not in the way Capela or his team hoped.

The Rockets, outscored by the Warriors by a total of just 11 points in Western Conference Semifinals, were thoroughly outplayed whenever Capela was on the floor. His -47 on-court plus-minus was easily the worst on the team as was his off-court mark of +36. Accordingly, Houston was outscored by 15.2 points per 100 possessions when he was on the court, according, the most incisive indicator of his complete inability to make a positive impact against Golden State.

Capela, obviously, wasn’t anywhere near his best when it mattered most. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, though, is fully confident that he will return next season a better player, motivated by his widespread struggles to produce versus the league’s best team for a second consecutive postseason.

“Clint was huge during the regular season, he played great,” D’Antoni said after Game 6, per The Athletic’s Kelly Iko. “Against Utah, he played great, but I thought this series, not quite as well. But that’s a tribute to Draymond Green as well. (Clint) is a classy guy. He’ll learn from this, he’ll only get better. He’s only 25, he’ll get stronger. The expectations are high for him. I think he was a little below his normal stats. Could’ve been better, but I’ll go down with guys like that.”

Golden State, it bears reminding, isn’t some run-of-the-mill opponent. Even before they added Kevin Durant to the fold, the Warriors made a habit of playing opposing to the bench by dotting the floor with shooters and playmakers, prioritizing pace and space above size.

Capela, basically, finds his name on a long list of talented big men who haven’t played to their normal standard against Golden State. If these teams meet again a year from now, we’ll find out if he’s improved to change that.

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