Capela interview before game4 (from a French Basketball magazine)

Clint Capela, what will be the keys for this Game 4? I think we will have to play with the same intensity throughout the game, and avoid the "empty" moments that we had in the previous game. We had a few minutes without scoring during crucial moments in Game 3, and we shouldn’t do the same against the Bucks, who make you pay cash. By building up the intensity on defense and pushing forward for the 48 minutes, they can be beaten. We want to win this Game 4. We have to win this Game 4. . You who are a defensive specialist, how do you try to limit the impact of Giannis Antetokounmpo? We try to slow him down, if we can… (laughs). But he really is a very, very strong player. He’s aggressive all the time, he’s attacking in aggressive mode all the time, and he’s got tremendous energy. It’s very hard to limit it, really. I think we can try to be aggressive in our turn in defense, but he’s really monstrous on many levels, physically, mentally. He’s been a league MVP twice, he’s one of the very best players in the league, he’s a guy who gives it all, all the time. We can only try to put a lot of intensity on our turn, but it is really very, very difficult to defend on him and limit his impact…. . The Hawks, despite losing two in a row, don’t seem to be panicking despite what is at stake in the upcoming game. How does the group feel? We feel good in our heads, and we feel good in our bodies. There is no reason to panic, we just have to continue to apply the coach’s instructions and play our game thoroughly, because it has been our philosophy for a few months and this is what has made us win matches since the start of the playoffs. Just because we’re two wins against one doesn’t mean we have to change everything. We were back to the wall during the previous series, we don’t panic, we can bounce back and we will do everything to do it from Game 4. We are a group of guys who love to play together, we love to progress and play together, and this unity is truly one of the keys to our success. We’re going to fight tonight, and we’re going to give it our all. . With audiences back in sport arenas for several weeks now, Atlanta’s ‘sixth man’ feels like it’s having a real impact … Yeah, that’s crazy stuff. The fans are awesome, and Atlanta is a city that loves basketball and the Hawks, so all the ingredients are in place to get pushed by the public. As we’ve seen in previous matches, our home crowd is loud and can help make a difference, that’s for sure. I think people felt this lack of coming to matches, and that their passion was a bit "limited" by the pandemic because they didn’t have access to the halls for a long time. Now they’re here and it’s really great to see, they let go, they’re happy to be there. We vibrate with them, they give enormous energy to each of our matches at home. We expect the same for Game 4, we can’t wait to be there. . Is the Hawks ‘wave’ also making itself felt in town? Yes, thoroughly. We feel that the whole city is behind us, that people want to see us win. We want to win for us, but we also want to win for them, because they really give us a lot. He’s a really great fan base, they are wholeheartedly with us, and we want to make them happy by winning. I don’t go out a lot because we’re limited with the pandemic, but when I go to refuel my car or go for shopping, I see flags, people who after ten seconds are yelling at me "Let’s go Clint!" Let’s go Hawks! "And it’s really, really good. It’s been increasing in intensity since the start of the playoffs, and we are in the conference finals, imagine if we go to the NBA Finals… It will be anything, it will be madness (laughs). . We have the feeling that you’re happy, taking great pleasure in this Atlanta team … Yeah, I’m having a lot of fun in this team, it’s really great. We have a good mix of players from different backgrounds and we have a solid unit, because we all want to help the franchise become a stronghold in the league again. I love playing with these guys, and I feel well with this system of play. I’m more important than I used to be in defense. There’s no more PJ Tucker by my side (laughs) but I’m really comfortable in my role, and I’m happy to be able to help win matches and have such a good season. I had a great season with the title of top rebounder in the league, and I’m feeling great. . Do you think you might be having your best season in your career? Not sure if this is my career best season, but it’s in my "Top 2", that’s clear. I had to tweak and adapt my recovery programs between games a bit because it’s been a really tough season, but I feel good, and I have an impact in my role. I love playing on this team, with these guys we really enjoy playing together and it makes you want to give it your all. To give more energy to recover an offensive rebound to give extra possession, things like that. . Nobody really expected the Hawks at this level. Which playoff game triggered the team? I think it was Game 5 of the series against the Sixers. We had a huge capacity for resilience, and we struggled to get back in the saddle after a few less good matches on our part. When we won in Philly in Game 5 we started to think that it was possible to go to the next round and go even further. We take the series in Game 7 against the Sixers, after hard and intense battles, and we have also built up confidence for the future. Now we know what we are capable of and we will do everything to keep it going as long as possible. . In the back of your mind, are we starting to dream of the NBA Finals? Yes, that’s clear, although there is still a long way to go. It starts with Game 4, which we have to win. If we win this game, it’s a whole other series that begins. We dream of taking the Hawks to the NBA Finals, making history for the city and the franchise. I think we have the best team in Hawks history, and we still want to aim higher. If we make it to the NBA Finals, it’s going to be something huge. . A little word about your duel against Joel Embiid, during the previous round? (Laughs). It was really, really intense. Joel is an ultra physical, athletic player who can do everything. He’s kind of a modern-day Shaq, a guy who puts a constant physical impact on the floor. In the first two games he put in 40 points and I had to readjust some things, but our duel was very intense, our bodies remember that I think (laughs). I have another client with Giannis now, and I like it. The physical duels, the contacts, I like it. . Interview by phone