Randle performs a reverse dunk during the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Boys Game – CC
When asked on Tuesday about his team’s first-round 113-96 win over the New York Knicks last week, Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela did not mince his words.
“I don’t know if they’re physical, but they are trying to play physical,” said Capela. “I feel like if they were really physical, I think we’d have more problems than what we have.”
What Capela was referencing occurred in Sunday’s Game 4 home game between the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks. In the game, Capela’s teammate John Collins needed four stitches in his lip after being hit in the face by the Knicks’ Julius Randle. Later on, Randle shoved Danilo Gallinari in retaliation to an elbow thrown at Reggie Bullock.
Capela said the Knicks were trying to be physical, but it didn’t work, as he noted the Atlanta players proved they can be physical, too.
“They are trying to play tough, push our guys around and talk s—,” said Capela. “But we can do that, too. We showed them as soon as we came back here that we can do that, too. We can push guys around, too. We can talk s— as well, so what you gonna do about it? Oh, and we can get a win with it. So what you gonna do about it?”
When asked about Capela’s comments, Knicks point guard Derrick Rose decided to steer clear of any back-and-forth arguments between the two teams. “I’m too old for that,” said Rose, who leads the Knicks with 22.8 points per game in the series so far.
Knicks’ coach Tom Thibodeau also dodged a question about Capela’s remarks, saying his team should focus on saving its season with a win in Game 5.
“I think the challenge for us is just to stay focused,” said Thibodeau. “That’s just noise. We just need to concentrate on what we need to do and be ready for the first quarter. That’s it.”
In the game, Capela had 10 points and 15 rebounds, while Collins scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. For the Knicks, Randle had 23 points and 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Hawks took a 3-1 lead in the series.