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Mike D’Antoni says Clint Capela is ‘as important as anybody’

Clint Capela is back with the Houston Rockets and no one is happier than Mike D’Antoni. Capela anchors the interior of the defense and is key to how the Rockets attack teams with their pick and roll game. He is a crucial piece to the puzzle for Houston.

D’Antoni had this to say about the rapidly improving big man:

“I talked to him yesterday. Really happy for him. What he did and where he was. I said just remember three years ago you were at Rio Grande sitting on the bench and couldn’t make a foul shot. He’s gotten to the point where he’s one of the best centers if not the best in the league. He’s signed up for five years. It changed his life and it changed our, the Houston franchise’s, life.”

Capela is a feel-good story indeed. He spent much of his rookie season in the G League and although he had potential, he had yet to unlock it. Four years later, Capela is a vital piece on a team with championship aspirations. And it doesn’t hurt that he signed a lucrative contract that will change his life from a money standpoint.

When asked about why it was significant to bring back Capela, D’Antoni had this to say:

“I mean as important as anybody. You have to have a lot of pieces and I get it. Gerald Green is really important to what we do. Every piece is really, really important. Some guys have bigger roles like James, Chris, and Eric and those guys, but Clint’s role is just as vital as anybody.”

Obviously, James Harden and Chris Paul are the two most important guys on the team, but Capela isn’t far behind. Without him, the defense likely falls apart and on offense, Harden and Paul would be forced to work much harder to create shots.

Capela may not be the face of the franchise or an outright star, but D’Antoni knows just how vital he is to the team’s success.