Clint Capela’s improvement is the key to the Rockets’ long-term future

For as often as the Houston Rockets are breaking three-point records, Clint Capela stands out in an unusual way: He’s the only player on the team who hasn’t made a triple in his NBA career. (Zhou Qi doesn’t count, since he’ll make one soon.)

That’s not to say every player on Houston’s roster is a shooter, but nearly all of them do. Capela, instead, is a throwback to the old-school centers who used to run the league. He’ll block shots, set screens, crash the lane, and dive for alley-oops. It’s almost refreshing to see a player accept those parameters.

It’s especially refreshing in Houston, where a good team was hamstrung by Dwight Howard’s insistence on being a player who he isn’t — namely, an old school post threat, something he has long aspired to be and can’t live up to anymore. When the Rockets let Howard loose, they pinned their hope on his replacement, Capela. Those were high hopes for a player who had only appeared in 89 games for his career.

But Capela is validating the Rockets now, no more so than Thursday’s game against the Cavaliers. Cleveland had lost six of its last nine games coming in, but was pushing to beat Houston on the road. With 1:39 left in the game, the

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