The Rockets are optimistic that injured center Clint Capela will be ready to return after the All-Star break, relays Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Capela, who missed his 15th straight game tonight, hasn’t played since Jan. 13 when he injured ligaments in his right thumb.
He has been working out for several weeks and will start practicing with the team after the break concludes. Capela is the Rockets’ top rebounder at 12.6 per game and ranks third in the league in field goal percentage at 63.1%.
“He’s doing everything without contact,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I guess those two practices will determine whether he will play the first game (after the break) or not.”
Here’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Joakim Noah calls the opportunity to resume his career with the Grizzlies “a blessing” after a disastrous experience with the Knicks, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Noah wasn’t always sure that he wanted to keep playing after becoming an outcast in New York, but he has been rejuvenated by a second chance in Memphis. “I didn’t want to leave the game like that,” he said. “I’ve worked too hard my whole life. I’ve always been somebody who loves basketball, loves to compete. I wanted to find that again.” (Twitter link)
- The Grizzlies traded offense for defense at the backup point guard position in a pair of deals last week, writes David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis sent Shelvin Mack to the Hawks and replaced him by picking up Delon Wright in a trade with the Raptors. Wright can’t match Mack’s outside shooting prowess, but he made the Pac 12 All-Defensive Team twice in college and has the size to guard several positions. The Grizzlies can make Wright a restricted free agent this summer by extending a a $3.64MM qualifying offer.
- An online gambling site has stopped taking wagers on the Rookie of the Year race, figuring Mavericks guard Luka Doncic already has the award wrapped up, relays Joey Hayden of The Dallas Morning News. David Strauss of MyBookie said the site is ready to pay out more than $150K to bettors who put money on Doncic.