Clint Capela to Start vs. Grizzlies Despite Right Heel Contusion
Rockets center Clint Capela will return to the Rockets' starting lineup in Memphis on Tuesday night after missing Saturday's win over the Timberwolves due to a right heel contusion.
Capela has missed three of Houston's last seven games due to the heel injury, but he is "ready to roll" for Tuesday's matchup against the Grizzlies, per Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni. Capela is not listed on Houston's injury report for Tuesday.
The 25-year-old center has performed well of late when not sidelined with the heel injury. Capela is averaging 19 points and 14.3 rebounds in his last four games, including a 30-point effort against Joel Embiid and the 76ers on Jan. 3.
Houston continued to get strong center production even without Capela in the lineup on Saturday. Backup big Isaiah Hartenstein turned in a 17-point, 15-rebound performance as he continued to impress as a rotational option for the Rockets. The 21-year-old big has supplanted Tyson Chandler as Houston's backup center over the last two weeks.
Houston won't quite be at full strength at the FedExForum in Memphis on Tuesday. Russell Westbrook won't play in the contest as he rests on the first leg of Houston's back-to-back, gearing up for the Rockets' home contest against the Blazers on Wednesday. Eric Gordon will start for Westbrook in Memphis. His status for Wednesday's game is yet to be determined as he continues to recover from right knee surgery.
The Rockets enter Tuesday's matchup at 26–12, 0.5 games back of the Nuggets for second place in the Western Conference. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. CT.