Luis Scola: Why the Addition of Scola Eases the Loss of Steve Nash for Suns
Nash was drafted by the Suns in 1996 and then picked up by the Mavericks two seasons later. His career really took off when the Suns got him back in 2004, racking up no less than nine assists per game in any season since 2004.
The two-time MVP has joined the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason and that left a huge void in the Suns' lineup. No one can make their teammates better than Nash has for the last eight seasons.
According to ESPN's Mark Stein, the Phoenix Suns won the amnesty auction for former Houston Rockets power forward, Luis Scola. He will look to ease the loss of Nash for the Phoenix Suns and here is how he'll do it.
He Gives the Suns Size
Luis Scola gives the Suns something that no team can have too much of: size.
Scola is a 6'9" power forward that can both rebound and score. The 32-year-old Scola was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in 2002, but didn't get to the NBA until 2007 because he played in Argentina during that time.
The addition of Scola gives the Suns five guys over the height of 6'8". This isn't a daunting-sized team, but they will be able to rebound and play defense, something that has lacked for them in the Western Conference.
The Suns were 19th and 21st in rebounds and points against per game last season, respectively. With Scola in the frontcourt now, look for both of those numbers to improve. He's a guy that can give you eight-plus rebounds a game and if he improves on defense, that will be huge for the Suns.
He Can Score
Scola can score as well as most power forwards in the game today. He has a career average of just under 15 points a game and, with Gortat playing next to him at center, they will be a devastating offensive duo in the key.
Both guys can score 15-plus points a game and both have the size to score over people. That gives the Suns two threats in the paint when some teams have a hard time finding one solid offensive big guy.
He was a force in international basketball and scored with the best of them. Scola is now a five-year NBA veteran with a nice inside game and can average anywhere from 15 to 20 points a game.
Nash has never scored more than 19 points in his career, so Scola will be a huge help in that area for a team that was already a top-10 scoring team in the league. Watch out for Scola and newly-acquired forward Michael Beasley to dominate opponents offensively in the paint with center Marcin Gortat.
Although Scola has only been in the NBA for five seasons, he has played overseas for multiple years professionally as well.
Scola gives the Suns a fraction of the experience Steve Nash provided, but they have to start somewhere. He has also played, and started in, 19 career postseason games.
He averages 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in the postseason, which shows he isn't scared of performing, and performing well, on the biggest stage. If the Suns would like to get back to the postseason, they will have to trust their big men and count on them to dominate opponents down low.
With the trio of Beasley, Scola and Gortat, dominating teams down low doesn't seem unlikely for the Suns.