Rockets Notes: Capela, Conditioning, Harden, Gordon, McLemore

Rockets center Clint Capela is off to a slow start compared to last season and a sore right shoulder is partially to blame, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon tweets. Capela injured the shoulder playing for the Swiss national team this summer and has been working to strengthen it. It has especially affected him when trying to dunk with one hand and reaching for rebounds, MacMahon adds. Capela is averaging 13.5 PPG and 7.1 RPG through the first eight games after averaging 16.6 PPG and 12.7 RPG last season.

We have more on the Rockets:

  • Coach Mike D’Antoni is second-guessing himself for taking it too easy on his players during camp, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Houston split its first six games before winning its last two outings. “I’m also kind of responsible. I was saving their legs in the preseason so that near the end of the year we’ll be fresher,” D’Antoni said. “I can’t also be crazy because they’re not quite in shape. We’re working on it.”
  • TV analyst and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy believes James Harden should get more credit for resisting the load management strategy that many other teams are using for their stars, Feigen writes. “Everybody is so hypercritical of everything Harden does. He should be absolutely lauded [for wanting to play 82 games],” Van Gundy said. ” It’s like the Rolling Stones came through here and don’t bring Mick (Jagger.) It would be the same thing if Harden doesn’t show up.”
  • The team should be much more worried about Eric Gordon’s shooting woes rather than Harden’s early slump, John Hollinger of The Athletic opines. Gordon is having a harder time getting to and finishing at the rim and that raises concerns, However, the team’s biggest long-term issues are their lack of overall interior size on defense and the fact that Russell Westbrook is a downgrade from Chris Paul at that end, Hollinger adds.
  • Ben McLemore, who has taken all but three of his 38 shots this season from beyond the arc, has solidified his rotation spot, Feigen writes a separate story.
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10 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Capela, Conditioning, Harden, Gordon, McLemore

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      So is Steph Curry’s if he keeps missing 22+ games every season.

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    CP3 is nowhere close to being the elite defender he was years ago when he was still in his prime. Russ is hardly a downgrade from him on defense.

  2. Stat

    Rockets are going to have a tough time finding upgrades outside the buyout market. They don’t really have much in the way of desirable contracts they could use to find some upgrades

  3. IslandFlava

    Too true, too true, Harden is one of the toughest players in the league, really admire him, can’t stand load management, I wanna see the star players playing every game, that is what I enjoy as a fan, not watching a bunch of bums. If you must rest players, rest the ones on the bench, but not the guys who the fans pay to watch. As JVG says no one would wanna watch the Rolling Stones without Mick… who would wanna watch Houston without Harden, Lakers without AD or LBJ, Milwaukee without Giannis & so on!

    • SheaGoodbye

      Why would a player who is never injured need load management? You can bet that if Harden suffered an injury similar to Kawhi’s, the Rockets would be resting him as well. It goes both ways.

      Plus, it’s not like the Rockets have gotten it done in the playoffs. Maybe there’s a correlation there, or maybe not. Us fans may not like load management, but if it would deliver better playoff performances, an argument could be made in favor of it.

      Either way, I find it hard to admire someone who doesn’t put effort on defense and flops a lot. I don’t consider that a tough player.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        The reason the Rockets haven’t gotten it done in the playoffs is because they’ve had to face the Warriors 4 times in their last 5 postseasons.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Plus Harden puts plenty of effort on defense, he is probably the most improved defender in the NBA since 2016.

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