An ode to Luis Scola

There seem to be too many distractions in the Rockets' world these days.

The Tracy McGrady mess........
The difficult holiday schedule.......
Chase Budinger returning from injury.........
Chuck Hayes' inability to grow 6" taller..........
Trevor Ariza's shooting woes (massive understatement)........

This is not to say that everything is going wrong.  Even though the Rockets gave away another winnable game last night to the Bobcats (wait - the Charlotte Bobcats?  Really?  Ouch.), there are still a lot of positive things.  The Rockets still have a winning record at 21-17.  They are still in the playoff race.  Players like Aaron Brooks, Carl Landry and the aforementioned Budinger have played far beyond pre-season expectations.  Carl Landry is even a serious contender for NBA 6th Man of the Year.  And then there's "old reliable":  Luis Scola.

Lost in a lot of the Carl Landry publicity machine is the fact that Luis Scola is turning in yet another kick-ass season.  Scola has remained the one truly reliable offensive option all year.  Brooks has been streaky.  Trevor Ariza has made Brooks look consistent.  Budinger has had the typical rookie ups-and-downs.  Chuck Hayes and Shane Battier still don't scare opposing defenses.  Landry has been amazing, but is now having trouble adjusting to the newfound attention he is receiving.  But Scola has been good for about 16 points and 10 rebounds each and every night.  Or so it seems, as his season averages are 14.7 points and 8.8 rebounds.

Then again, that seems to be consistent with Scola's personality.  He's never going to slap his hands together and demand the ball and/or yell at teammates for not passing it to him when he's open.  Scola could easily average 20/10 in this league.  But he's a pure team player who is not going to rock the boat.  The Rockets have been winning, Adelman's motion offense has (usually) kept opposing teams off-balance and unable to key-in on a particular player, and there's no need for Luis to be a stat-whore.  And even if teams try to focus their energy on stopping Scola on nights when he really seems to have it going, it just never seems to work.

Scola is going to the right.  You know it.  I know it.  Everyone knows it.  And yet he still somehow finds a way to spin, pivot, duck and dive his way to the rim going to the right.  It's uncanny. 

So here's to the best power forward the Rockets have had since the days of Otis Thorpe and Robert Horry.  And I swear, I'm going to cry if he's somehow packaged in a trade next month.  Stop trying to trade away Luis Scola!!!

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