Luis Scola starting to heat up for Suns
by Sarah McLellan, USA TODAY Sports
PHOENIX — He’s among the least likely to fault for the Phoenix Suns’ ocean of losses, but forward Luis Scola expects a fair share of the blame to be pushed in his direction.
“I feel I’m an important part of the team,” Scola said. “Of course I feel a big responsibility when we lose so many games. We, as veterans, we’ve got to find a way to make the least possible mistakes. This is a team that makes a lot of mistakes, and we’re guys that have to show the way not to make a lot of mistakes.
“Sometimes that’s contagious, and if you do the right thing, then everybody starts doing the right thing and the team starts playing better.”
While it’s debatable whether Scola has been part of the problem, he’s definitely a key to the solution. For the first time in almost two years, Scola has turned in three consecutive 20-point scoring efforts and has 78 points during the span.
He’s led the Suns in scoring in seven games this season, tied for most on the team with Goran Dragic and Shannon Brown.
If there’s anything Scola’s teammates would like to catch from him it’s this type of scoring bug.
“I’m making shots that I was missing earlier in the season,” Scola said. “A lot of shots that I was missing earlier in the season were nice shots, shots that I usually make, so that was a little frustrating.”
Scola’s surge also came after his return to the starting lineup on Dec.12, and that has led to effectiveness elsewhere on the floor. In Wednesday’s win — the first in two weeks — against the 76ers, Scola had a team-high nine assists.
“It’s just a matter of making the extra pass, and obviously he’s such an unselfish player that he doesn’t mind doing that,” coach Alvin Gentry said.
The lack of ego comes with experience. And perhaps that’s just the veteran contribution this young team needs.
“You need to earn your trust. You need to earn your minutes,” Scola said.
“Coach is going to give it to you if you deserve it, so I need to find a way … [For more on Luis Scola starting to heat up for Suns, click here.]