On Dwight, Capela

  • In one of these games this postseason, Clint Capela will go for something like 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocked shots, and then everyone on the Rockets portion of the Internet will collectively react in the online equivalent of how everyone storms the court and goes nuts at the end of those streetball videos where someone makes the other guy fall down.
  • Dallas is going to ante up the variance because that is the only way to overcome the vast talent disparity between the two teams.  It feels weird being on the other side of that equation.  They’ll give Harden different looks in pick and roll coverage and try something out of the box in assisting Dirk.  On the latter point, I don’t know what all can be done for such a challenging dilemma.
  • I hope we aren’t celebrating already as tempting as it may be.  I think back to 2005 when I and my friends, after Houston went up 2-0 against Dallas, not only looked past the Mavericks, but also Phoenix, in preparing for the Western Conference Finals.  We know how that turned out.
  • Over these past two seasons, because he’s had his ups and downs, and this season has been in and out of the lineup, there have been times during games where I’ve caught myself thinking, “wait a minute.  That guy with ‘Howard’ on the back of his jersey is Dwight freaking Howard.”  This was a guy who, as recently as within the past five years was the undisputed most disruptive force in all of basketball.  This was a guy who, before Kevin Durant made “the leap”, was considered, unarguably the second best player in the league.  We got a reminder of that former status in Game 1 when Houston looked like a machine during Howard’s minutes.  But can he sustain this level of dominance for long minutes?  If he can, maybe Houston needs to be taken a lot more seriously, and maybe they’re as good as people envisioned when Howard first signed.  Howard carried an Orlando team to the Finals with Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu setting him up in the pick&roll; he now has maybe the best player in the league tossing him lobs.
  • I’m no longer worried about Howard murking things up in the post because I think he understands his role on this team, something that wasn’t the case last year before the team’s hierarchy was set.  With Harden’s explosion this season, Howard now knows what he has to do, and I am feeling more confident that how the offense ran in Game 1 is how the team intends to play going forward.
  • The Mavericks have no answer for the Rockets’ star duo, but at the same time, you have to hope that Ariza and Terry continue to hit.  Everything only looked as smooth as it did because those threes were falling.  To that end, aren’t we glad its Terry in the corner instead of Beverley?  I have much more confidence in Jason Terry’s ability to consistently knock down open shots, rather than Beverley’s, as the latter was seemingly feast or famine.
  • Some of you are talking about Beverley attempting to return in later rounds as if I’m supposed to be excited at the prospect.  Why?  If Houston advances that far, I don’t know that I want them to tinker with their rotation if things are working.  And Pat already wasn’t hitting his shots before going out.  That’s supposed to change?  He also wasn’t slowing anyone down.  I suppose it would be nice to have his physicality against some of the elite point guards Houston may face, but we saw how that worked out during the year when he got torched on several occasions.  Not to think too far ahead, but if the Rockets go on to play Cleveland in the Finals, I’d rather just start Brewer and have him on Kyrie Irving, with Terry coming off the bench when Irving sits.
  • Clint Capela is an NBA rotation player.  No, I’m not saying he’s going to be a star or the next Dwight Howard or anything, but at the least, he will earn NBA checks.  That will present an interesting situation this summer with Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, and Donatas Motiejunas already under contract, and Josh Smith due for a raise.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of www.Red94.net.

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Some thoughts on Game 1 of Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks