Clint Capela felt like the Rockets gave up on him too quickly when they shipped him to the Hawks at the 2020 trade deadline, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. The four-team deal came less than two years after Houston signed Capela to a five-year, $90MM contract, as the team opted to fully invest in a small-ball approach.
That decision has worked out well for Atlanta, which needed a strong rebounder and an interior presence on defense. Capela led the league in rebounding this season with 14.3 per night while averaging 2.0 blocks and shooting 59.4% from the field.
“What I like about this team is we always beat the odds,” he said. “People just don’t expect us to do it. People keep doubting us, and we just keep shocking them. In Houston, it was really a championship mentality every year, so it was almost like a must-win game, every game.”
There’s more on the Hawks:
- Nate McMillan was hesitant to join the Hawks as an assistant under Lloyd Price because he didn’t want to be perceived as a “coach in waiting,” according to Jeff Schultz of The Athletic. When McMillan took over in midseason, he made some important changes that pointed the team in the right direction, including gaining the trust of Trae Young and challenging John Collins to improve as a two-way player. McMillan also brought a new attitude to the job. “I know I’ve changed,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned is you have to adapt to a new generation of players. I’m a huge fan of Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), and when I got the job in Indiana he sent me a message that basically said, ‘Adapt.’ He had to do that with the kids going from staying in school four years to being one-and-done, and I also had to learn to adapt.”
- Young accepted the blame for the Hawks’ embarrassment in Game 2 against the Bucks, per Royce Young of ESPN. Coming off a 48-point performance in the opener, Young shot just 6-of-16 and committed nine turnovers. “That’s all on me,” he said. “I’ve got to be better at taking care of the ball. And do a better job of at least getting us a shot and not turning it over so much. And I’ve got to do better and I will be better next game.”
- If there was a bright side in Friday’s blowout, it was the return of Cam Reddish after missing more than four months with right Achilles soreness, writes Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Reddish played 17 minutes and scored 11 points. “Basically it was an opportunity to get him some minutes,” McMillan said. “… It’s really tough to throw a guy out there in a situation like he’s been put in.”