Hawks center Clint Capela’s impact goes beyond box score

Hawks center Clint Capela (15) poses for a photograph during the Hawks Media Day on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in Atlanta.
Miguel Martinez /miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Hawks center Clint Capela (15) poses for a photograph during the Hawks Media Day on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in Atlanta. Miguel Martinez /miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

The Hawks saw an advantage against the Wizards.

With the Wizards playing without their top center Daniel Gafford, the Hawks planned to take advantage of their size in Wednesday’s game. The Hawks boxed out and crashed the boards and out-rebounded the Wizards, 57-35, with the Hawks grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.

“We did a good job on the boards,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said after the 130-121 win. “I just think that the rebounding, we did have possessions where we went after the ball, you know, we got some rebounds in crowds.”

The Hawks had a massive lift from veteran center Clint Capela, who picked up his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Capela has averaged 10.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game through five games, which has not gone unnoticed by Snyder.

Per the Hawks, Capela recorded his 261st career double-double and his 122nd double-double as a member of the team. That bumps him to 15th-most in franchise history, breaking a tie with Mookie Blaylock, who had 121.

Through the first five games, Capela has made an impact on the game that sometimes doesn’t show up on the box score.

During games, Capela can be counted on as a voice who can help get the Hawks organized as they get back in transition. On defense, his hands have been full with having to face the likes of Bucks bigs Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez on Sunday. One day later, he battled it out with Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert.

“Well the one thing that should go noticed that does show up in the box score is defensive rebounding,” Snyder said before Wednesday’s game. “And I think that’s a significant thing that gives us, you know, his ability to put pressure on the rim in pick and roll, a lot of times may not end up in (stats), you know, sometimes it does when it gets, you know, a lob of threat.

“But there’s a lot of situations where he’s, creating shots for other people and then I think defensively you know, you see the guards at the point of attack guarding the ball, but you know, equally important, the beginning of the possessions he’s usually involved, if there’s a pick-and-roll action, and he finds himself in that situation, as well. So the way that those two players work in tandem defending the pick and roll at the point of attack is something that you know that he’s really embraced and is good.”

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