The Indiana Pacers‘ primary goal during the offseason was to enhance their bench, which ranked near the bottom last year in the NBA. The Pacers’ starting five are pretty much solidified, but they went after another potential starter in forward Luis Scola from the Phoenix Suns.
Obviously the starter in this position is taken by veteran forward David West, but Scola brings starter experience off the bench. This is exactly what the Pacers needed, but just who is Luis Scola?
The forward from Argentina will be wearing no. 4 for the Pacers this year and looking to bring veteran experience off the bench. He has a career average of 14.2 points per game and 7.5 rebounds, but struggled last year, averaging just 12.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He also has a career average shooting over 50 percent from the field, primarily around the painted area and on the elbows.
Scola definitely has some talent, but was always hidden by being on teams with losing records. The Pacers need a guy like Scola coming off the bench and hope that he lives up to his career averages.
The Pacers really got a steal with Scola coming off the bench, as he would easily be a starter for other teams in the forward spot. He was on the all-rookie first team in 2008-08, was named rookie of the month in February of ’08, and was even a bronze medalist on the ’08 Olympic squad for the Argentinian team. That does not sound like a bad history for someone that is coming off the bench for the Pacers.
It looks like Scola could be a clear favorite to come off the bench behind West. I would expect rookie Solomon Hill to bring a fight during the preseason and the beginning of the regular season. The good side of getting Scola is that he brings another 6-foot-9, 245-pounder in a Pacers group filled with size and athleticism.
The downside of getting Scola is that he is just in his sixth year in the NBA at the age of 33. Scola will definitely bring veteran experience but if Pacers want to go young, expect Hill to get some more playing time.