Grading Scola based on his main competition:
Morris was given a chance to supplant Scola from the starting lineup last season and was an abject failure in his
quest disinterested attempt. Scola beat the second year player, who showed no improvement from his rookie campaign, soundly. Upon Scola's acquisition he was the de facto starter at PF even if the role hadn't been officially bestowed upon him. He earned that role when given the opportunity.
Luis Scola vs. power forwards playing at least 25 minutes a game:
- 14th in FG%
- 13th in rebounds per game
- 10th in points per game
- 9th in FT%
- 9th in turnovers (fewest) per game
- 7th in assists per game
So not only did Scola raze his counterparts on the Suns, he also was a productive starting power forward relative to his competition across the league.
Judging Scola based on his 2012-13 season compared to 2011-12:
When Scola showed a significant drop off in the 2011-12 season it was easy to extrapolate that his production would continue to decline since he entered the season 32 years old. That conjecture, however, turned out to be misconstrued. Scola shook off a bad season and nearly returned to his previous production from his 30 and under years. On a team where nearly nobody exceeded expectations, Scola was on that short list.
While it's improbable Luis will be able to improve on this season's numbers as a 33 year old, it isn't a stretch to wager he'll still be an effective player next season.
Judging Scola based on hustle, heart and equanimity:
As the season trudged along it would have been easy for a veteran like Scola to disassociate himself from what was a disappointing season laced with savage beatings. He could have sulked from being stuck in a bad situation at this stage of his career. Scola, however, is not that type of player or person. Despite being visually disturbed at times off the court talking to the media in perplexed and critical fashion (on occasion), Luis was always accountable for his part in the underwhelming results. Luis is also not the type of person to let these kinds of issues affect his demeanor on the court, either. Luis gave a consistent effort when many of his teammates struggled to do so. He was a leader by example. Unfortunately, a majority of the Suns chose not to follow suit.
Overall Grade: A-
Scola was claimed on waivers after being amnestied by the Houston Rockets and stepped into a team with an identity crisis possessed of the
insane misplaced mindset that they could actually compete for a postseason berth. Things didn't work out that way.
Scola acquitted himself as a true professional in these circumstances.
I didn't like the acquisition of Scola last summer. I thought he would be a good fit as a backup for a contending team, but he didn't make sense for one going through a massive overhaul. I still don't like the move, but as it turns out he was a bright spot in a mostly somber season (even if he may have cost us a better draft pick). I never really cared for Scola as a player, either. I thought he was kind of soft and wasn't enamored with his
whiny savvy play. He changed my mind this season and I respect the way he navigated the tribulations of the season.
I hope the Suns can find a deal this summer that is mutually beneficial for both Scola and the team. I think there will be interest, and if the Suns can send him to a playoff team while picking up a young player with upside or a 2014 pick, it would probably be the best thing for both parties.