Rockets center Clint Capela is likely to return for Tuesday’s game at division rival San Antonio after missing Houston’s last two games with an illness, head coach Mike D’Antoni said at practice Monday.
However, forward Danuel House Jr. is likely to remain out with an illness of his own, which started a few days later. Thus, he hasn’t had the same recovery time. Capela missed both Wednesday’s win over Miami and Saturday’s blowout ofAtlanta, while House missed just the second game.
Though the Rockets have not indicated the nature of the illness for either player, House said Saturday in an Instagram story that he had the flu. D’Antoni said Monday that House would likely travel with the team, which could at least give him an opportunity to play.
Clint Capela says he was battling a fever, chills and a sinus infection and was in bed for a week. He spent one day in the hospital getting IVs. He said he didn’t lose any weight and was on the court this morning – his stamina was good and he said he felt really good.
Clint Capela is expected to play in San Antonio on Tuesday, according to Mike D’Antoni.
The Rockets (13-6) are clear favorites over the Spurs (7-14), who entered Monday at No. 12 in the Western Conference standings. However, the Spurs do have upside, as evidenced by a 10-point home win last Friday over the Kawhi Leonard and Paul George-led Los Angeles Clippers. Thus, Capela’s return is certainly a welcome development.
The Spurs could be without power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 18.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game this season. The seven-time All-Star is dealing with a minor thigh injury.
In his sixth season, Capela is averaging 14.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in 31.9 minutes per game this year, and he’s on a historic rebounding tear with at least 19 boards in his last seven games played.
Prior to Capela’s current streak, the only NBA player to have at least 19 rebounds in seven straight games was rebounding legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, who last did it in the 1994-95 season.
The only player in Rockets franchise history to have posted averages of at least 14 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks per game in a full season was Hakeem Olajuwon, who did it 30 years ago in the 1989-90 season.
Meanwhile, House has been one of the team’s best shooters and wing defenders. The 6-foot-6 swingman averages 12.4 points in 29.7 minutes per game on 47.4% shooting overall and 44.4% from three-point range.
If House is out, former 2013 NBA Draft lottery pick Ben McLemore would again start at small forward. McLemore was excellent in House’s place during Saturday’s win over the Hawks, posting season-highs of 24 points, 13 rebounds, and six made three-pointers.