Is There Ever “Just Another Game”?

As sports fans, we tend to be a fickle bunch. For example, if given the option of watching your NBA team win in a blowout or on a last-second jumper, can you say with confidence which you’d prefer? The former option means rest for the starters, but the latter option means a lot more excitement. And while a back-and-forth contest might capture your intrigue a lot more than a lopsided victory, it might not be the best thing for your heart. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Being in Houston, I’m finding another dilemma that sports fans often find themselves matched up against. When speaking with athletes who are about to face their former team, do we want to hear the cliché “it’s just another game” answer, or do we want something more? Logically, we should hope that players feel that every game is as important as humanly possible, but following sports isn’t always logical. In fact, it sometimes involves face paint. [Read more...]

Scola Ain’t a Beauty, But He’s Alright

When you’re a young kid, there are a million things you think are cool. You’re into whatever the fad of the week is. If you’re a child of the late ‘80s you fell in love with Alf, Pong, parachute pants and maybe even New Kids on the Block. That is if you had really poor taste. It’s rare that any of these infatuations stick with you for a lifetime, though.

For me, only two of my late ‘80s obsessions lasted into adulthood. One is the Phoenix Suns — which as you can tell, also became my profession — and the other is a love for Bruce Springsteen music. The latter was thanks to a father who would drop the needle of the record player (the precursor to the CD player and distant cousin to the iPod for you youngins) on one of the Boss’ many brilliant works of art every free moment we had in the house on a weekend.

There have been very few times in life that the two have crossed paths. That was until the other night while watching Luis Scola play. [Read more...]

New Suns Are Cure For Hoops Depression

And here I was, all set to be depressed this summer. As top free agents were discussing sexy destinations, “big threes” and contract extensions, I was roaming the aisles of my supermarket for comfort food, Netflixing the first two seasons of “Downton Abbey” and ordering tissues in bulk.

Then a funny thing happened. The Suns went and made themselves interesting again. They added seven new names to the roster, whether by draft or free agency. They radically changed the makeup and chemistry of the team practically overnight, while refusing to sit and pout if free agents bid farewell. No time for tears. Moving on. Next starts now. [Read more...]

Luis Scola Olympic Games Tracker

(NBAE/Getty Images)

New Suns power forward Luis Scola is currently representing Argentina in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Suns.com will be monitoring his progress throughout, so check back early and often for updates on how he’s faring.

August 12, 2012: Argentina vs. Russia
In the bronze medal match of the Olympics on Sunday, Argentina’s hopes to medal were foiled with an 81-77 loss to Russia. Argentina led late 77-76, but Aleskey Shved hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 37 seconds left to pull away for good.

New Suns power forward Luis Scola was one of four Argentine players in double figures with 11 points. He also racked up six rebounds, four assists and a steal in his 35 minutes.

Argentina, which won the gold medal in 2004 and the bronze in 2008, left the Olympics without a medal for the first time since the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. However, Scola did finish fifth in the Olympics in scoring by averaging 18 points a game.

“Argentina is a team of the highest level,” Russian Head Coach David Blatt said. “We beat them in a high level game. Getting a medal in the Olympics is history for new Russia.”

August 10, 2012: Argentina vs. United States
In the semifinals of the Olympics on Friday, Argentina’s hopes for a gold medal vanished with a 109-83 loss to the U.S. The U.S. pulled away in second half, outscoring Argentina by 19 in the last two periods.

New Suns power forward Luis Scola was one of three Argentine players in double figures with 15 points. He shot 7-of-15 from the floor for an Argentine team that was outrebounded 46-29.

“Their team is better than ours,” Scola told FIBA.com. “I’m not being smart in saying that, everyone knows it.

“When you play against the US, you just need to play a perfect game. And we weren’t perfect.”

Argentina and its “Golden Generation” of players, which captured the gold in 2004, face Russia for the bronze medal on Sunday.

August 8, 2012: Argentina vs. Brazil
After going 3-2 in pool play, Argentina faced Brazil in a quarterfinal match of the Olympics on Wednesday. Argentina sent its South American rival home by securing an 82-77 victory.

Suns power forward Luis Scola led five other Argentina players in double figures with 17 points. Scola shot 6-of-12 from the floor for an Argentinian team that held Brazil to two consecutive 14-point quarters (second and third periods).

Coming into Wednesday’s matchup, Scola trailed only Australia’s Patty Mills (20.6 points) as the leading scorer in the Olympics with a 19.7 point a night average.

Now Argentina will face the United States on Friday.

August 6, 2012: Argentina vs. United States
After a strong Olympic showing thus far, Argentina ran into a United States team on a mission Monday, dropping a 126-97 decision in the country’s fifth game of pool play. Suns power forward Luis Scola was one of six Argentines in double figures with 11 points.

Scola shot 4-of-8 from the floor for Argentina team that gave up 20-of-40 three-point shooting to the United States, including 8-of-10 shooting from downtown from Kevin Durant (28 points). The U.S. outscored Argentina 66-38 in the second half.

Argentina wrapped up pool play with a 3-2 record.

August 4, 2012: Argentina vs. Nigeria
In the country’s fourth game of pool play, Argentina cruised to a 93-79 win over Nigeria. Suns power forward Luis Scola poured in a game-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Teammate Carlos Delfino added 18 points.

Argentina burst out of the gate by outscoring Nigeria 37-19 in the first quarter. On the night, the Argentines also shot 61 percent from downtown.

Argentina moved to 3-1 in pool play and will face the United States on August 6.

August 2, 2012: Argentina vs. Tunisia
In the country’s third game of pool play, Argentina rolled to a 92-69 rout over Tunisia. Suns power forward Luis Scola racked up 20 points, a team-high 10 rebounds and five assists for Argentina, while Manu Ginobili led all scorers with 24 points.

Scola was 8-of-14 from the floor and grabbed four offensive rebounds for Argentina, which moved to 2-1 in pool play.

Argentina faces Nigeria on August 4.

July 31, 2012: Argentina vs. France
In the country’s second game of pool play, Argentina fell 71-64 to France in a game filled with notable NBA players. New Suns power forward Luis Scola posted a game-high eight rebounds, while adding 16 points to his line.

Scola was one of only two Argentine players in double figures, with Manu Ginobili leading the way with a game-high 26 points. Argentina came out of the gate slowly, totaling only 12 points in the first quarter.

Argentina faces Tunisia on August 2.

July 29, 2012: Argentina vs. Lithuania
On Sunday, Argentina tipped of the first day of the Olympic men’s basketball action with a decisive 102-79 victory over Lithuania.

The two squads already had a familiarity against each other in international competition, having met during the bronze medal game of the 2008 Olympics. The two countries went back-and-forth at each other in the first half, with Argentina leading 24-23 early.

However, Argentina went on a 27-16 run, racing out to a 51-39 lead at the half. New Suns power forward Luis Scola poured in 14 of his game-high 32 points in the first half to help ignite the run.

On the night, Scola shot 12-of-19 from the floor. The 6-9 power forward also swatted three shots and racked up five rebounds and four assists.

Fellow teammate and Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili finished with 21 points. Carlos Delfino also scored 20 for the Argentines.

Next up for Scola and Argentina is France on July 31.

FOUR! Scola Searching For New Number

The most popular question among online Suns fans hasn’t been how Luis Scola will fit in with the team, what he thinks about Phoenix or how he’s doing since his divorce from Katy Perry (Oh, never mind, that was Russell Brand). Rather, the one thing fans wanted to know more than anything else was exactly what number the Argentine forward will be wearing come October. It’s a question that even he doesn’t have the answer to. [Read more...]

Scola Goes Around the World to Find Home With Suns

When the season ended for Luis Scola his mind was 5,597 miles away from Phoenix, Arizona and for good reason. He had just wrapped up the year in Houston with the Rockets and was prepared for a journey that would lead him to London in August. With the 2012 Olympics right around the corner the forward was focused on getting to Spain to begin preparing for the Summer games with his Argentine teammates. What a difference two months makes.

On Tuesday Scola was in Spain with the Argentina National Team but his mind was in the desert southwest. The 6-foot-9 forward spent time after practice on a conference call with the local media discussing his new team. Despite the nine-hour time difference, he politely spent nearly 20 minutes answering all sorts of queries. Questions that came at him in two different languages (English and Spanish) and that ranged from whether or not he knew his time in Houston was coming to an end to how he expects his country to fare in London. Throughout the call one thing became quite clear, the Suns had acquired themselves a humble player who is ready to get to work. [Read more...]