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Capela is backbone of Hawks -- and quite a trash talker, too

Washington Wizards' Russell Westbrook (4) is congratulated by Atlanta Hawks' Clint Capela at...
Washington Wizards' Russell Westbrook (4) is congratulated by Atlanta Hawks' Clint Capela at the end of an NBA basketball game Monday, May 10, 2021, in Atlanta. Westbrook recorded his 182nd career triple-double, passing Oscar Robertson for the most in NBA history. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)(Ben Margot | AP)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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(AP) - If Trae Young is the unquestioned star of the Atlanta Hawks, then Clint Capela is the backbone. A pretty good trash talker, too, as he displayed in an opening-round playoff victory over the New York Knicks.

The burly, 6-foot-10 Swiss center has given the Hawks the gritty defensive presence they so desperately needed. Without Capela, it’s hard to envision Atlanta preparing for its first appearance in the Eastern Conference semifinals since 2016.

They’ll face the top-seeded 76ers beginning Sunday in Philadelphia. The Hawks are again the underdog, but Capela is confident that his team can pull off another upset.

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