Houston Rockets: Luis Scola and Brad Miller Are the Solution
Last week, it looked as if the Houston Rockets would struggle to come across their first win of the 2010-2011 NBA season. However, after losing Yao Ming to an injury in their loss against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday evening, the team has rebounded since picking up two straight victories on the road.
The Rockets have managed to win two consecutive games on the road without starters Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks. Yao is expected to miss at least one week with an ankle injury while Brooks is expected to be out four to six weeks with a severely sprained ankle he sustained during a game against the San Antonio Spurs earlier this season.
The Rockets, defeated the Indiana Pacers in a close game, and then handed the struggling New York Knicks their fifth consecutive loss on Sunday night. They have been able to get enough production out of their big men, whether that is the wily veteran Brad Miller (averaging 15.5 points during the two victories), and the always underrated Luis Scola (averaging 20 points during the two victories). Miller, who had been averaging only 4.0 points in the first six games, even getting a “DNP”, has been able to find some rhythm that is expected to carry this team due to Yao being inconsistent in terms of the amount of playing time he will receive.
Scola, on the other hand, has been filling up the stat sheet on a nightly basis, and continues to show the rest of the NBA, that he was a “steal” by San Antonio, and then by the Houston Rockets, who were able to acquire his draft rights from their in-state rival. Scola has averaged 22.7 points and 11.4 rebounds during the first seven games of the season.
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He is a big reason along with shooting guard Kevin Martin, why the team has been able to contend in the past two games, and using him as their first scoring option will open up the floor for Brad Miller, who can stretch the defense with his shooting ability.
When Yao Ming returns from his ankle injury, the Rockets have to find a way to play either Scola or Miller alongside Yao as it will stretch the defense. Imagine the Rockets with Aaron Brooks, Courtney Lee/Shane Battier, Kevin Martin, Luis Scola/Brad Miller, and Yao in the fourth quarter of games. This strategy may work, but it may take a little time for Yao, Scola, and Miller to get familiar with each other on both ends of the basketball court.
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