While some of us are focusing on Team USA to get our basketball fix in the offseason, and are enjoying watching Durant become an international superstar, he isn’t the top performer at the World Championships right now. That title belongs to a player a little closer to home for Rockets fans: Luis Scola.
Scola (admittedly my favorite player) is by far the top scorer in the championships so far, averaging 28.3 points per game in 34.5 minutes with a ridiculous 59.3 field goal percentage. Some of the top scorers are as follows:
Luis Scola (ARG) – 28.3, 34.5 MIN
Kirk Penny (NZL) – 25.5, 31 MIN
Jianlian Yi (CHN) – 22.5, 35 MIN
Hamed Haddadi (IRI) – 21.3, 32.2 MIN
Linas Kleiza (LTU) – 19.3, 32.5 MIN
Kevin Durant (USA) – 18.8, 25.8 MIN
Carlos Delfino (ARG) – 18.5, 18.5 MIN
While the US has dominated Group B, Argentina has had similar success in Group A, going 4-0 (including a close 74-72 victory over Australia and former Rocket David Andersen). And this national team is not unfamiliar with international success, winning bronze in the 2008 Olympics in China, and gold in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Scola was a star in both tournaments.
Team USA wrapped up Group B with a 92-57 win over Tunisia today, advancing them to the round of 8, where Argentina may be a team to worry about. With Scola’s post dominance and the US lack of interior defenders, the stars and stripes should be worried about a potential matchup with the Argentinian with flowing black hair. Turkey certainly has played well (4-0 with solid performances from Ilyasova and Turkoglu) and everyone is convinced that Spain is the team to beat (though they’ve lost two games and are without Pau), but I’ll take Argentina with international veterans like Scola, Delfino and Oberto.
It’s tough being torn between your national team and your favorite overall player, but if the US has to lose to someone, I hope it’s Argentina. Because while Scola may just be a very good (and very underrated) PF here in the states, he is a superstar overseas and I love watching him shine on a global stage.