Luis Scola Won't Help Phoenix Suns Make Playoffs
Luis Scola just threw his remote through a window.
The 32-year-old basketball player is a declining, yet-still-effective veteran who failed to win a ring during his tenure with the Houston Rockets. Instead of being acquired by a championship contender, though, he got stuck with the Phoenix Suns.
On Saturday, Marc Stein of ESPN gave Scola a sliver of hope that he’d be in position to fight for his first NBA Finals berth.
On Sunday, Brian Windhorst of ESPN crushed that hope. Heartless.
Luis Scola has been awarded to the Phoenix Suns via amnesty waiver claim, source tells ESPN— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 15, 2012
Phoenix just Derek Fisher'd Scola.
What are the Suns doing? They aren't contenders—they're in rebuilding mode. Rebuilding teams don't acquire Luis Scolas for $10 million over three years.
Last year, Phoenix finished 33-33 despite Steve Nash’s surreal effort to lead the NBA in assists while being surrounded by mediocrity. To make up for Nash’s departure, they’ve added Kendall Marshall, Goran Dragic and…that’s it. Nash makes everyone around him better and now that he’s gone, go ahead and take an educated guess as to what the result of his absence is going to cause.
OK, fine. I’ll help you.
According to John Hollinger of ESPN, Nash was the only point guard in the league to finish in the top 10 in player efficiency rating and assist ratio this past season. Translation: Those mediocre talents that he helped create opportunities for are going to get significantly less opportunities without him. Scola isn’t enough to make up for the lack of Nash—not now, and not when the amnestied Argentine was at his best, which he’s not.
By the time that the Suns are legitimate playoff contenders again, Scola will be useless. On top of the fact that he’s already 32, his points and rebounds per game plummeted last season.
Will Phoenix make the playoffs in 2013?
In 2011, he averaged 18.3 points and 8.2 boards per game. In 2012, he averaged 15.5 points and 6.4 boards per game. His field-goal percentage also dropped to below 50 percent for the first time in his career.
Sure, Phoenix will win a few extra games this year with Scola in the starting lineup, but in the big picture of things, all the signing does is move them further back in the lottery. And prevent Scola from winning a ring, of course. But I mean, that’s what the Suns do—trap aging, ringless veterans in a hopeless desert.
Steve knows what I'm talking about.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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