Luis Scola’s preseason debut with the Indiana Pacers didn’t turn out quite as the team or the six-year NBA veteran had hoped. As did the majority of the Pacers’ reserves, Scola struggled to fill his role effectively. In 21 minutes on the floor, the 33-year-old Argentinian finished with only seven points, three rebounds and one block while shooting just 2-7 from the field.
As I wrote after that first preseason game, though, one poor showing in the preseason was no reason to worry about Scola or the rest of the Pacers bench. As the Pacers traveled to the Philippines for their second preseason game against the Houston Rockets, Scola simply proved me right with my not-so-bold proclamation as he performed my well.
Though Scola played fewer minutes against the Rockets, he looked better and put up much improved numbers compared to his first outing. In 18 minutes on the floor, the veteran put up 10 points, six rebounds and two assists while shooting 4-6 from the floor.
What Scola showed in that second preseason game is essentially why the Pacers were so interested in acquiring him this summer. Last season Indiana was a team who, despite their success, really didn’t have anyone coming off of their bench that could help lead while the starters were taking a breather. However, with his ability to score, rebound and pass on the interior, Scola is a guy who can fit that mold for this team.
It didn’t take long into the preseason at all for Scola to show why he’s going to be a big part this Pacers team’s success in the upcoming season. The rest of the reserves still need to follow suit, but having Scola playing this well early on is certainly a solid place to start.