Before David West went off, Denver was looking to trap Indiana all over the court. Any Pacer pick-and-roll in the first quarter was getting blitzed. The Nuggets did a pretty good job of rotating to the next open man, but Indiana made a few skip passes to the open man, as Denver tried to play 3-on-4.
Denver did force a few turnovers; Lance Stephenson tried to hit Roy Hibbert in the post and threw it to hard and at the wrong shoulder of the big man. But for the most part the Pacers made quality passes out of the double team like on this post up by West.
Here, West’s vision gets Danny Granger an open corner three. As Granger shoots, Denver is scrambling to recover, which leaves the offensive board open for Ian Mahinmi. He finds two Nuggets converging on him and makes a nice pass to an open West, who finishes off the hoop and harm.
Denver didn’t stay in this aggressive defense very long after Indiana’s 31-point first quarter. The Nuggets even went to a 3-2 zone – or maybe it was a 1-2-2 – with Kenneth Faried at the top for at least one possession.
The Pacers also got easy looks on cuts to the basket. Early on Indiana brought everyone up high, which allowed for this easy bucket for Stephenson.
A nice pass from Paul George, who finished with four assists; he’s had 14 assists in the last three games.
Later in the quarter, West and C.J. Watson executed another cut that got Indiana more easy points. It was Watson’s only basket of the night.
But there was a lot of David West just being impossible to guard, as he has been in a zone recently. He is averaging 22.8 points over the last four games on 65 percent shooting.
And Stephenson did this.
Stephenson was worst Pacer starter in +/- at +17.
The Nuggets didn’t have their point guards, Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson. They were small and got dominated by Indiana inside – 56-37 on the boards. But Indiana ran a lot of pretty action, plus West was, well David West.
Oh, and the defense was pretty good too, allowing 80 points on 32 percent shooting.