Tim Duncan and Luis Scola will be the matchup for tonight's game when the Phoenix Suns travel to the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX.
This is Scola's first season as a member of the Suns and it hasn't been an easy transition since the Rockets traded him. He's been benched for a few games while struggling but now seems to have found his groove with a 13.3ppg average to go along with 6.5rpg, On the opposite side of the court, Tim Duncan is having an excellent season at 36 years old with 17.5ppg and 9.8rpg. These two men have played against each other a few times while Scola was a member of the Rockets, but the Suns are a different team with a different mindset than the Rockets ever had on both ends of the floor and that'll determine who gets the best of who in this game.
What Duncan must do on offense:
Scola isn't known for his defense, but he's not horrible on that side of the floor either. Duncan does have a major advantage over him: height. Duncan is listed around 6'11" while Scola is at 6'9". Tim has sat out the last two games with a sore knee, so he should be well rested for this game. Duncan has had a youthful season with more blocks and dunks than previous seasons. His energy on offense is what has made the Spurs deadly on that side of the court. He's adopted a mid range jumper that he will be using against Scola while throwing in some vintage post up plays of 4 Down. The Suns don't have much depth in the big position off the bench, so Duncan getting Scola in foul trouble will be a huge factor.
What Duncan must do on defense:
Scola is doing the majority of damage in the paint where he's shooting 63% and in the mid range area where he's shooting 46%. Scola does his best work on the offensive end when he already makes up his mind on what he's going to do instead of being challenged to change his game plan. Duncan must make Scola second guess his offense. If in mid range territory, Duncan has to stop Scola from shooting and recovering to protect the rim so he won't let Luis get by him. Duncan isn't the quickest big in the league anymore, but his long arms can still play a factor. Scola is also known for hustling on the offense boards, so an effective box out game by the Spurs is crucial to keep Scola from having a big night.