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Clint Capella Comparison Essay

Inherent within the decision over whether to re-sign Dwight Howard is the comparison to Clint Capela, Howard’s younger, cheaper likely successor.  Capela came of age during the playoffs of his rookie season, landing a surprise spot in the rotation and impressing.  I thought he’d be a major key to Houston’s season–and he very much was early on–before fizzling later in the year.  I thought it would benefit us to take a look at the numbers of each player this past season.

 CapelaHoward
minutes played156131092
FG%.575.582
FT%.359.568
ORB/1006.45.2
DRB/10010.313.4
TRB/10016.718.6
BLK/1003.23.0
TOV/1002.04.4
PF/1006.44.8
ORtg112110
DRtg10399
ORB%14.311.7
DRB%23.229.1
TRB%18.720.6
TOV%10.916.9
USG%16.423.0

A couple of things jump out here.  Capela was better on the offensive boards, while Howard was significantly better on the defensive glass.  That was evident in the eye test as it sometimes seemed like the Rockets were completely hopeless on the defensive boards without Howard in the game.

Howard was significantly more turnover prone while Capela used even less possessions than Howard.

 CapelaHoward
HOU on court ORtg109.4108.2
HOU off court ORtg107.7108.5
Opponent on court ORtg105.6107.9
Opponent off court ORtg109.8108.7
On – Off+5.9+0.5

The team was slightly better offensively with Capela on the court than it was with Howard.  And the team was quite a bit better offensively with Capela on the court than it was with him off the court.  The team was slightly worse offensively with Howard on the court.

Opponents fared better offensively with Howard on the court than they did with Capela.  But opponents fared slightly better with Howard off the court than with him on the court.  Opponents fared significantly worse with Capela off the court than on the court.  Capela’s overall on-off was a whopping +5.9 to Howard’s +0.5.

 CapelaHoward
FG% allowed49.450.1
Contest %35.027.0
Points saved/361.10-0.66
Opponent Rim Attempts per 36 On25.222.9
Opponent Rim Attempts per 36 Off24.026.5

Capela was better than Howard against defending opponents at the rim, while contesting a significantly higher number of shots.  But opponents challenged Capela more than they did Howard, which isn’t that surprising.  He’s still “Dwight Howard.”

 CapelaHoward  
> 15 ft. Diff. %-2.30.7
< 10 ft. Diff. %-3.80.0
< 6 ft. Diff. %-4.6-1.9
Overall Diff. %-1.8 0.8

This was interesting.  Via NBA.com’s defense tracking, Capela had a much more significant impact on the shooting percentage of the man he was defending, from every area on the court.  For example, opponents shooting shots from greater than 15 feet out usually shot 37.6% from that distance, but when defended by Capela, that fell to 35.2%.  You can see that at less than 6 feet, while opponents usually shot 59.9%, they only shot 55.3% against Capela, for a -4.6% difference.  Howard’s opponent seemed to shoot better in almost every situation.

Having said all of this, minutes played should not be overlooked.  Howard played 31092, while Capela only played 1561.  Upon surveying the above, one can easily understand why I’ve argued in recent weeks that it might not be wise to keep Howard long term with a cheaper, younger replacement waiting in the wings.  Across the board, Capela fared better, or at least comparably to Howard, in every category; the team overall played better with Capela on the court than it did with Howard.  But sample size is not irrelevant.  Howard has a body of work of consistent production, i.e. we know what he can and will produce when playing significant minutes over the course of an entire season.  To that extent, Capela is still an unknown commodity.  We see he can be better than Howard, and probably was in a limited stint, but its dangerous to just assume that production will naturally extrapolate in an extended role.

But risk is inherent in sports management.  As of this date, my stance on the matter is as follows: if the Rockets have other willing options in free agency, they undoubtedly should part ways with Howard.  But if no one is taking their money, and they can bring Howard back on a cheap deal (say, $15million/year), I might give that route consideration.  The thought of bringing back a bare-bones roster is scary.  And there’s the theory that perhaps with a new coach, a more engaged Howard might bring higher productivity.  (Though I’m not holding my breath on that).  But even still, it is my opinion that the risk of committing long term to a player on the decline with a significant injury history is greater than committing to the relatively unknown.  The data we do have indicates that Capela is already ready for the job, and with his age and work ethic, there’s no reason to think he won’t continue getting better.

View this discussion from the forum.

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

tagged as:Dwight Howardinessays

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3 Years Of Service

Clint Capela 2017-2018 Game Log

NBA Regular Season Stats - Per Game

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2014-15HOU1207.51.172.42.4830.000.00.0000.331.92.1740.832.173.000.170.080.751.170.422.67
2015-16HOU773519.13.005.16.5820.000.01.0001.042.74.3792.523.906.420.610.771.192.470.787.04
2016-17HOU655923.95.578.65.6440.000.00.0001.452.72.5312.745.378.110.980.521.222.751.3512.58
2017-18HOU595927.36.079.31.6520.000.02.0002.193.76.5813.317.6911.000.950.761.752.591.4714.32

NBA Regular Season Stats - Totals

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2014-15HOU12089.61429.48300.000423.17410263621914532
2015-16HOU77351470.7231397.58201.00080211.37919430049447599219060542
2016-17HOU65591551.3362562.64400.00094177.53117834952764347917988818
2017-18HOU59591611.1358549.65201.000129222.581195454649564510315387845

NBA Regular Season Stats - Misc Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSDbl DblTpl Dbl40 Pts20 Reb20 AstTechsHOBAst/TOStl/TOFT/FGAW'sL'sWin %OWSDWSWS
2014-15HOU120000000.0360.400.200.7984.667-0.160.210.05
2015-16HOU77351000000.0960.780.980.533938.5062.421.994.40
2016-17HOU65591600000.1620.730.390.314421.6773.892.186.07
2017-18HOU59593300201.1780.640.520.404910.8315.163.028.17

NBA Regular Season Stats - Advanced Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSTS%eFG%ORB%DRB%TRB%AST%TOV%STL%BLK%USG%Total S %PPRPPSORtgDRtgPER
2014-15HOU120.409.48311.8230.7421.283.6511.330.557.2821.1465.67-3.911.1083.894.911.96
2015-16HOU7735.553.58214.4422.5218.465.1710.911.985.2016.0796.10-1.911.37114.0103.818.25
2016-17HOU6559.639.64412.5124.6118.556.8512.091.054.1419.84117.52-2.821.46121.8105.721.46
2017-18HOU5959.653.65213.8931.9522.975.8411.861.365.4220.04123.32-3.061.54126.6101.624.91

More Clint Capela NBA Stats »

NBA Transactions

Jun 26, 2014 - The Houston Rockets selected Clint Capela in Round 1 with Pick 25 in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Jul 23, 2014 - Clint Capela signed a multi-year contract with the Houston Rockets.
Nov 10, 2014 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Dec 2, 2014 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Dec 16, 2014 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Dec 24, 2014 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Dec 27, 2014 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Jan 25, 2015 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Jan 29, 2015 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Feb 9, 2015 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Feb 19, 2015 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Mar 27, 2015 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the G League.
Oct 30, 2015 - The Houston Rockets exercised their Team Option to extend the contract of Clint Capela.
Oct 25, 2016 - The Houston Rockets exercised their Team Option to extend the contract of Clint Capela.

More NBA Transactions »

NBA Playoff Stats - Per Game

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2014-15HOU1707.51.241.82.6770.000.00.0000.881.71.5170.761.712.470.290.180.531.120.183.35
2015-16HOU508.70.601.80.3330.000.00.0000.401.00.4001.602.604.200.400.600.401.000.601.60
2016-17HOU111126.04.187.45.5610.000.09.0002.183.55.6152.366.458.821.090.732.552.550.7310.55

NBA Playoff Stats - Totals

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2014-15HOU1701272131.67700.0001529.51713294253919357
2015-16HOU5043.339.33300.00025.40081321232538
2016-17HOU1111286.24682.56101.0002439.61526719712828288116

NBA Playoff Stats - Misc Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSDbl DblTpl Dbl40 Pts20 Reb20 AstTechsHOBAst/TOStl/TOFT/FGAW'sL'sWin %OWSDWSWS
2014-15HOU170000000.0411.671.000.9498.5290.440.130.56
2015-16HOU50000000.0300.671.000.5614.200-0.060.070.01
2016-17HOU1111300000.1411.501.000.4865.5450.650.571.21

NBA Playoff Stats - Advanced Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSTS%eFG%ORB%DRB%TRB%AST%TOV%STL%BLK%USG%Total S %PPRPPSORtgDRtgPER
2014-15HOU170.651.67710.7523.4117.166.426.421.125.6015.37119.470.241.84133.1105.422.85
2015-16HOU50.357.33318.4533.9125.707.5321.133.424.0213.5673.33-3.770.8984.1102.614.12
2016-17HOU1111.585.56110.0726.2018.336.907.471.407.5416.45117.64-1.41123.5102.521.74

More Clint Capela NBA Playoff Stats »

NBA All-Star Weekend Competitions

NBA Rising Stars Challenge Stats - Totals

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2016World1015.169.66701.00000.0002571100212

More Clint Capela NBA All-Star Stats »

NBA Preseason Stats - Per Game

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2015-16HOU6523.93.335.83.5710.000.00.0001.673.17.5262.836.008.831.000.671.332.671.838.33
2016-17HOU5419.24.807.60.6320.000.00.0000.202.00.1002.606.208.801.401.000.802.601.409.80
2017-18HOU5525.35.409.20.5870.000.00.0002.804.20.6672.406.809.200.800.601.002.802.2013.60

NBA Preseason Stats - Totals

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2015-16HOU65143.72035.57100.0001019.526173653648161150
2016-17HOU5495.82438.63200.000110.10013314475413749
2017-18HOU55126.32746.58700.0001421.667123446435141168

NBA Preseason Stats - Misc Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSDbl DblTpl Dbl40 Pts20 Reb20 AstTechsHOBAst/TOStl/TOFT/FGAW'sL'sWin %OWSDWSWS
2015-16HOU65300000.1110.550.360.5433.5000.210.160.37
2016-17HOU54200000.1441.000.710.2641.8000.130.270.41
2017-18HOU55100000.1610.360.270.4641.8000.290.290.58

NBA Preseason Stats - Advanced Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSTS%eFG%ORB%DRB%TRB%AST%TOV%STL%BLK%USG%Total S %PPRPPSORtgDRtgPER
2015-16HOU65.577.57111.9127.1919.276.3020.241.314.5715.42109.77-4.721.43106.4100.218.42
2016-17HOU54.578.63214.7832.8224.1211.9514.172.423.4521.2773.16-2.291.29111.193.721.66
2017-18HOU55.615.58711.2030.2620.965.3816.611.133.5723.03125.36-6.651.48109.991.921.51

More Clint Capela NBA Preseason Stats »

NBA Training Camp Experience

G League Regular Season Stats - Per Game

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2014-15RGV383224.56.6811.13.6000.000.08.0002.684.50.5964.005.689.680.760.742.972.551.8716.05

G League Regular Season Stats - Totals

SeasonTeamGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2014-15RGV3832929.6254423.60003.000102171.59615221636829281139771610

G League Regular Season Stats - Misc Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSDbl DblTpl Dbl40 Pts20 Reb20 AstTechsHOBAst/TOStl/TOFT/FGAW'sL'sWin %OWSDWSWS
2014-15RGV38321900000.1650.410.390.402315.6052.381.253.63

G League Regular Season Stats - Advanced Stats

SeasonTeamGPGSTS%eFG%ORB%DRB%TRB%AST%TOV%STL%BLK%USG%Total S %PPRPPSORtgDRtgPER
2014-15RGV3832.612.60015.8823.0119.414.7312.471.328.4122.79119.70-5.051.44120.0106.924.53

More Clint Capela G League Stats »

G League Transactions

Nov 10, 2014 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Dec 2, 2014 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Dec 16, 2014 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Dec 24, 2014 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Dec 27, 2014 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Jan 25, 2015 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Jan 29, 2015 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Feb 9, 2015 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Feb 19, 2015 - The Houston Rockets assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Mar 27, 2015 - The Houston Rockets recalled Clint Capela from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

More G League Transactions »

G League Awards & Honors


International Regular Season Stats - Per Game

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGSMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%OFFDEFTRBASTSTLBLKPFTOVPTS
2011-12

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