Thursday , Aug , 30 , 2007 Oly Sandor

A Tale Of Two Houston Rockets: Luis Scola & Rafer Alston

I think Scola will help Houston a lot. He can rebound, score, defend, and won’t freeze up come crunch time because of his international experience. The Argentine is in the same mold as Jorge Garbajosa and Anderson Varejao …


Houston’s Luis Scola has been receiving praise for his play with Argentina at the FIBA Americas Tournament:

Scola may be the best player in this tournament who has never played an NBA minute, though as a recently signed property of the Houston Rockets that will certainly change. The 6-foot-10 power forward is averaging 17.9 points on 53.8 percent shooting in the FIBA Americas Tournament. (Chris Mannix, SI.com)

"I really like Scola. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t do anything great but does everything well. He’s smart and he has the size and strength to be an NBA power forward." ( Rudy Tomjanovich , a current Lakers’ scout and former Rockets’ coach)

"He’s a very active player. He’s the kind of guy you have to find and keep a body on all the time." (LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers)

Unfortunately, Houston’s Rafer Alston hasn’t been receiving much on-court praise lately, but he did receive good news Thursday morning courtesy of the New York Post:

Stereo nightclub co-owner Barry Mullineaux is calling foul over allegations of a stabbing early Monday on his premises.

Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston was charged with assault after a fellow patron claimed the NBA player slashed him in the neck.

"We have hired investigators, we have looked at the video, and we do not think this happened at the club," Mullineaux told me yesterday. "And nobody saw anything. Someone would have seen something if this guy had been stabbed in the neck."

The club owner says security video shows a "small verbal confrontation" at 3:04 a.m. between the alleged victim and Alston’s entourage over a spilled bottle: "But that’s all," he says. "They continued drinking."

Mullineaux also points out that two police cars were stationed outside the club all night, and officers were not aware of the assault.

My Quick Take: Scola will provide  with a big boost. He can rebound, score, defend, and won’t freeze up come crunch time because of his international experience. Some compare him to former Laker Kurt Rambis. I believe the Argentine is in the same mold as Jorge Garbajosa and Anderson Varejao.

He also gives the Rockets some interesting options. For a change of pace, Houston can now go to an all blue-collar front-court featuring Scola, Chucky Hayes, and Shane Battier. These three could work well together in short spurts when Yao Ming needs a rest.

Believe it or not, I also like . Sure, he occasionally ends up on the wrong side of the law and loses his cool, but he’s also a solid, table-setting point guard. Alston could thrive in new coach Rick Adelman’s up-tempo system. So Houston fans should stay patient and avoid completely writing off Skip To My Lou.

What do you think of Houston’s chances next season? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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