Rockets rookie center Clint Capela is getting personalized instruction from Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, reports Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Capela, the 25th pick in last year’s NBA draft, has spent most of the season in the D-League and has seen little NBA action until recently. But the Rockets think Olajuwon, the NBA’s career leader in blocked shots, can give him a greater presence on the defensive end. “I can be effective on blocked shots on the weak side,” Capela said. “I can be more active. I think he will help me for sure. He is always at the game here. He saw me play the last game. He saw my game, how I play. Today he told me how I can be more helpful for the team. I’m sure it will help.”
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- The Rockets‘ Kostas Papanikolaou is getting closer to returning from a sprained ankle, according to Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle. Papanikolaou, who has been sidelined since hurting the ankle in warmups prior to a February 23rd game, hopes he can be ready to play next week. He is set to make more than $4.6MM next season, but his contract is non-guaranteed if he is waived before September 28th.
- Tyson Chandler should be the Mavericks‘ top priority in free agency, opines RIck Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News in his weekly chat. Dallas will have eight free agents this summer, but Gosselin says a skilled rebounder is a necessity on a team filled with shooters, and the Mavericks learned how hard it is to replace Chandler the last time they let him go.
- The Mavericks have recalled Dwight Powell from the D-League, tweets Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Powell has appeared in eight games for the Texas Legends, averaging 28.3 points and 9.4 rebounds.