Ethan Norof

The Specialists

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The Specialists: Capela's Cuts

Monday, February 5, 2018


Clint Capela, Houston Rockets: Rebounds, Blocks, Field Goal Percentage


With all of the attention focused upon James Harden and Chris Paul, it’s easy to forget how important Capela has been to Houston’s success. After a solid third NBA campaign in 2016-17, Capela has rewarded the Rockets’ faith in him with career-high marks across the board this season. Through his first 46 games, Capela checks in with averages of 14.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 1.8 blocks on 65.6% shooting. Entering Super Bowl Sunday, Capela was one of only 11 NBA players averaging a double-double, tied with DeAndre Jordan for the league lead in field goal percentage, third in the association in points per shot (1.54), and sixth in both total blocks (81) and blocks per game.


In short, Capela has been invaluable to his team becoming a legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors, and although he’s not often talked about as a difference-maker in casual conversation, that’s exactly what he has been to date. For a guy who had a preseason ADP of 62.8—after names like Serge Ibaka, D’Angelo Russell, Dennis Schroder, Jeff Teague, and Jusuf Nurkic came off the board—Capela has proven to be an absolute steal. And with paper-thin depth behind him on Houston’s roster, CC should keep firing heat across the stat sheet despite the fact that his last name isn’t Sabathia.


Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs: Steals, Blocks


There hasn’t been a lot of chatter about Green this season because he entered the year without expectations placed upon him. We thought Kawhi Leonard would be healthy, accepted the fact that the 2014-15 version of Green wasn’t coming back, and didn’t project the veteran swingman to be more than a possible defensive specialist to consider in the later rounds of the draft. But as we all now know, this year has been a lost one for Leonard, the Spurs are searching for contributions on the wing, and Green has an opportunity to be a sneaky “second half” asset.


Although Green is shooting below the 40% barrier for the third straight season and spent most of January really searching for his rhythm, Green is off to a much better start in February (two games) with averages of 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 2.0 blocks, and 3.0 triples with just 1.0 turnover on 46.2% shooting. It would be unreasonable to expect that level of efficiency moving forward since we simply haven’t seen it from him all year, but there is no reason Green can’t keep up the effort on the defensive end. A VIP member of the 1/1/1 (steal, block, 3-pointer) club, Green entered Super Bowl Sunday as one of only three non-bigs—John Wall and Josh Richardson being the others—to be averaging at least one block. It’s pretty wild to exercise the perspective of Green being a “disappointment” or non-asset when he’s got more swats than Steven Adams, DeAndre Jordan or Marcin Gortat.

 

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Wesley Matthews, Dallas Mavericks: Steals, 3-pointers


Beware of the trade deadline. With Matthews on the trade block and the Mavs in the midst of another rebuilding season, it would not be a surprise to see Wild, Wild Wes on the move.


Since arriving in Dallas, Matthews has never been a player that I’ve felt comfortable relying on for fantasy success. His volatility does not breed reliability, and after an erratic January in which his production was all over the map, Matthews enters February as cold as a snow cone in Antarctica with averages of 11.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.0 triple on a frozen 22-of-60 (36.7%) from the field.


Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards: Assists


Satoransky is going to receive plenty of opportunities for the indefinite future with John Wall out of the lineup, and although the 2012 second-round pick hasn’t done much to date in his NBA career, he’s finally begun to show some signs of life since becoming a member of the first unit.


Over his last four games, Satoransky has averaged 11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 3-pointers on 51.9% shooting. Those numbers are very usable, and given that Satoransky is only on 19% of Yahoo rosters, there is a better than good chance that he’s still available in your league. Tim Frazier does not appear to be a threat to Satoransky’s playing time, and with the Wizards having won four straight games, DC will look to keep the good times rolling.


Reggie Bullock, Detroit Pistons: 3-pointers


The Pistons are searching for answers in the backcourt and on the wing, and it sure looks like Bullock is a part of the current solution. The former first-round pick has played at least 30 minutes in five straight games and has averaged 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.2 triples on 27-of-53 (50.9%) shooting over that stretch, including 16-of-34 (47.1%) from distance. That means that 64.2% of Bullock’s shots have been 3-pointers during that time, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for from a specialist. f=


Luke Kennard (foot) has shown some flashes, but the rookie isn’t a reliable part of the mix at this time. Langston Galloway has been a major disappointment this season, and there isn’t a whole lot to speak about after that beyond Stanley Johnson with Reggie Jackson (ankle) still on the shelf.


For those teams in need of some help from the outside, Bullock looks like a nice plug-and-play piece to see how things shake out with Detroit’s upcoming schedule featuring the Blazers, Nets, Clippers, Pelicans, and Hawks (x2).



Follow Ethan Norof on Twitter @Ethan_Norof for more fantasy basketball analysis, advice and all things Los Angeles Lakers.
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