While the Atlanta Hawks earned a hard-fought berth into the NBA playoffs on Friday night, they may have lost their defensive anchor Clint Capela for the entirety of their first-round serious against the Miami Heat.
Capela was injured at the end of the second quarter in their 107-101 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the final Eastern Conference play-in matchup last night. While defending the post, Capela leaped up and past a pump fake by Cavs center Evan Mobley. The eight-year veteran may have caused his eventual bad luck when he seemingly pulled on Mobley’s shoulder during the follow-through of his shot.
Mobley landed awkwardly and off-balance on the miss and fell with momentum right into the knee of Capela. It was a nasty moment where the 27-year-olds joint was clearly hyperextended. The starting center grabbed his knee immediately and shouted in pain. He eventually had to be helped off the floor at the start of halftime.
Clint Capela could miss all of the Hawks series against the Heat
On Saturday, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that sources informed him that Capela has “suffered no structural damage to his right knee but could miss a significant part — if not all — of an opening-round playoff series against the Miami Heat.”
- Clint Capela stats (2021-2022): 11.1 PPG, 11.9 REB, 1.2 AST, 1.2 BLK
The team’s second-most reliable performer reportedly had an MRI Saturday and will have the injury re-evaluated in a week. Game 1 of Heat vs Hawks takes place in Miami on Sunday. Game 2 follows on Tuesday, with Game 3 and 4 in Atlanta on Friday and next Sunday.
The native of Switzerland has averaged 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks for the 43-39 Hawks who earned the eighth-seed in the playoffs with their win last night.