Rockets news: Clint Capela surprised by leading NBA in FG Percentage
Clint Capela has managed a strong start to this season despite the early loss of floor general Chris Paul to a knee injury. In a critical season, where he is expected to break out for his free-agency future, the Swiss international has been the X-factor the Houston Rockets have needed him to be.
Through nine games this young season, Capela is shooting a league-leading 70.7 percent in 24.6 minutes per game, blazing past his already impressive 64.3 mark from last season. When told about it, he was even more shocked at his progress.
“I didn’t know that,” said Capela, when told he was the league leader in field goal percentage, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. “Really?”
The Rockets were expected to be the next version of Lob City, now with Paul and James Harden, two willing passers able to exploit defenses for air-defying finishes at the rim. But even without Paul, Capela has seen his fair share of airborne action thanks to The Beard.
“Every time on fast breaks, or when James throws me lobs, I try to finish hard every single time,” said Capela. “I’m just doing my best on that. If I’m first with that, I’m happy. Just going to try to stay consistent.”
The big man is averaging career highs of 13.3 points and 11.4 rebounds, while also seeing his minutes increase under head coach Mike D’Antoni. One which the latter has noted, rewarding him with the playing time he’s worked hard to earn.
“He’s good,” D’Antoni said of Capela’s success finishing. “He’s got stuff you can’t teach, body control. He has a unique ability to catch and finish. His jump hook is nice. He’s got a lot of stuff.”
Capela has been a sponge during his time in Clutch City, besting his previous highs from the prior year through each of his three prior seasons in the league.
“A lot of times, even when I miss, I try to be relentless and go after it,” Capela said. “Of course, I’m not thinking about my percentage. I’m just trying to go hard every single time.”
Though it’s a small-sample size, the 6-foot-10 rim-rocker is likely to get more of the same throughout the season, remaining the single answer at the center spot after the various moves made in the offseason.