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After unfamiliar situation, Scola ready to rejoin the rotation

After unfamiliar situation, Scola ready to rejoin the rotation

Luis Scola was clearly bothered by the personnel changes over the final two games of the Pacers’ First Round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Coach Frank Vogel and staff decided to trim the rotation to eight guys, with Ian Mahinmi, C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland contributing off the bench.

That left Scola, who only knows how to play hard and play every night, to watch like the rest of us.

“It is what it was,” he said following shootaround Monday morning. “Obviously I want to be playing but it just happened that way.”

Scola played just 12 seconds in Game 6, but managed to chalk up an assist in such a short time. In Game 7, however, he didn’t even have a chance to take off his warmups. That broke his streak of 87 consecutive games this season, including the playoffs, in which he has played. 94 games if you include their October preseason slate.

Scola’s consistency goes back even further. Game 7 was the first game he didn’t see the floor since he sat out the final three games of the 2010-11 season while with Houston — a span of 235 straight regular season and postseason games. In his seven NBA seasons, he played in every game in six of those seven seasons (550 out of a possible 558 regular season games).

“It was (difficult),” he said quietly. Yeah. It was tough to swallow.”

Vogel spoke with Scola, along with Evan Turner – who was visibly frustrated – ahead of the series’ final two games. It wasn’t easy for them to grasp, especially since they are both so used to being key contributors on every team they play on.

“On this team, nobody complained,” center Roy Hibbert said after their series-clinching Game 7 victory. “(Atlanta) went small, some guys didn’t play, some guys didn’t play as much as they wanted to play, some guys got benched, other guys stepped up. We’re a team, despite what everybody said and how they feel individually about not playing or whatever, you sacrifice for the team.”

Moving past that and ahead to Indiana’s Second Round series with the Washington Wizards, which begins tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Vogel said to expect those two back into the fold.

“Evan and Luis will be back in the rotation with a much greater role in this series,” he said after Sunday’s practice.

About The Author

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Scott Agness is in his second season as a multimedia contributor for Pacers.com. He delivers articles, blog posts, interviews, and videos. He is a graduate of Indiana University where he was part of broadcasts on the IU Radio Network, Big Ten Network, IUHoosiers.com and WIUX. He is the founder and editor of VigilantSports.com.

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