Nick Wright unveils why Clint Capela is the crucial piece that perfectly fits Harden, Paul’s Rockets

– James is going to win the MVP, and Chris Paul gets a ton of love, and he should. But we can’t forget their version of the third guy in the big three. And that’s not Trevor Ariza, as excellent as he’s been. It’s not Eric Gordon, who could be Sixth Man of the Year again. To me, it’s Clint Capela.

– No question.

– A guy who, by the way, is leading the NBA in field goal percentage. Why is that relevant? It’s going to be the sixth straight year that a Chris Paul teammate leads the NBA in field goal percentage. DeAndre Jordan did it for five years in a row. Now Clint Capela is going to take that mantle from him.

– Nice.

– But what Capela has done for them defensively, and the way he cleans things up at the rim, he’s a big reason why they’re 35 and 2 when he, Harden and CP3 play. And this is one– D’Antoni pointed this out to me. I knew the defense had been better, but they had the league’s second best defense since February 1. So all year long, they have, according to Basketball Reference, the most efficient offense ever. And now you add to it– forget a top 10 defense, but a top five defense. That, to me, is a recipe for– as I’ve been saying, right now, they’re the best team in the league.

Now does it translate to the postseason? If you can– CC, I asked you about it, but I wanted to expand to the audience, because I don’t think people totally understand. When you talk about– all right, so James Harden, the isolation score, he’s killing everyone in the regular season. He’s done this a few times– two runner-up MVP finishes. What do teams do differently specifically in the playoffs? And why wouldn’t they do that in the regular season, if it works on him?

– Well, you talk about Capela leading the league in field goal percentage. All his shots are alley oops– catch right at the rim and finish. You know, there’s not too many big guys that can do that. Let me give him his props. He can– he’s got great hands, and not too many big guys that can catch. They can’t walk and chew gum half the time.

– Right.

– But all his shots are at the rim.

– Of course.

– You stop that by– as soon as James Harden comes across that court, before the pick even comes, you send that big man, where he has to throw the ball to Capela at the three point line. Make him put it on the floor. Now what are you going to do? You’re not just catching it and going up. You’ve got to put it on the floor, and possibly, you have to make a play. He hasn’t done that all year, and it’s kind of hard to just pick that up in the playoffs, especially when the game counts.

Source: Fox Sports

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