Indiana Pacers vs Denver Nuggets

Darren Collison looks to lead his Indiana Pacers over Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, March 16th at 9:00 PM EST at the Pepsi Centre in Denver, CO. Broadcast is available on Fox Sports Indiana and Altitude; radio is available via 1070 The Fan/107.5 FM and KKSE-FM 92.5/KKSE 950.

How to Watch

What: Indiana Pacers at Denver Nuggets

Where: Pepsi Centre in Denver, CO

When: Saturday, March 16th at 9:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Fox Sports Indiana, Altitude | 1070 The Fan/107.5 FM and KKSE-FM 92.5/KKSE 950

Indiana Pacers (Away)

Head Coach: Nate McMillan {All-Time 611-551 | SEA, POR, IND}

The Indiana Pacers, for the moment, have broken the tie with the Philadelphia 76ers and now have sole ownership over the third place position in the Eastern Conference. With a record of 44-25, the Indiana Pacers have a half-game lead over the Sixers and are 7.5 games back from the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Pacers have been looking to make up for some poor performances as of late as they are currently on a two-game winning streak over the New York Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They are 5-5 in their last ten games and are looking for a win over the Denver Nuggets to start off their four-game road trip.

The Denver Nuggets are a tough and fast-paced team, who will be looking to run the Indiana Pacers out of the gym. The Pacers are coming off of an inspired win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and will look to translate their last performance toward the Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets (Home)

Head Coach: Michael Malone {All-Time 202-216 | DEN}

The Denver Nuggets are closing in on first place in the Western Conference. With a record of 45-22, the Nuggets are a mere game back from the Golden State Warriors who own pole position in the West. The upstart Nuggets are clearly looking to take homecourt advantage for the duration of their playoff run.

In their last ten games the Denver Nuggets are 6-4. They don't own an easy schedule to close out the season, but a recent two-game win streak over the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks makes for a good starting point before their eventual four-game road trip after the Pacers.

The Indiana Pacers are a disciplined team on the offensive and defensive end. They don't own the leagues fastest pace, but they build their game over diligent play from the high-post and off the pick and roll. The Nuggets usually like to break early on visiting teams, so they will have to break up the Pacers slow build-up.

What's At Stake?

The Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets own one of the NBA's most competitive series. Over 88 games all-time, the Pacers and Nuggets are dead even at 44-44.

A win for the Indiana Pacers would give them a full games lead over the Philadelphia 76ers who trail them in fourth position.

A win for the Denver Nuggets would bring them within a half-game of the Golden State Warriors and first position in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

What was behind the Pacers' comeback?

Is Jokic the Nuggets' best late-clock option?

We are going to compare the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Pacers Overcame A 19-Point Lead

Over three quarters the Indiana Pacers looked as if they weren't going to be in the game. Paul George was a one-man army for the Oklahoma City Thunder, taking advantage of the Pacers' defense at every turn. From range and in the paint, George and the Thunder were unstoppable.

However with just two minutes remaining the Pacers were able to claw back into the game with the assistance of a massive night from Domantas Sabonis. His offense and Wes Matthews' defense on Paul George gave the Pacers the opportunity they needed. A late tip by Matthew's sealed the game for the Pacers:

 

 

The performance of the Pacers speaks volumes regarding their potential in the playoffs. While the game slows down, they play a gritty yet efficient offensive game and can turn up the defense at a moments notice. While they no longer have the one-on-one options needed in clutch situations, the Pacers will grind for a basket by any means necessary.

The Nuggets Won At The Buzzer

It was a back and forth affair between the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets. At 97-99 with less than 20 seconds in the fourth quarter, Luka Doncic drove from half court and into the paint for an impressive slam dunk to give the Mavs the lead. Unfortunately for Dallas, Nikola Jokic had other plans.

A back-down from the high post lead to a turning push shot from Jokic over Dwight Powell that sealed the game at the buzzer for the Nuggets. If it wasn't known already, Jokic is the best closer at Center in the NBA:

 

 

In games decided by four points or less, the Nuggets are an impressive 14-3. For a young team, it is great to see they have the maturity and composure to execute in such difficult situations. Considering the Pacers won at the buzzer last night, neither team will be worried should it come to a last second shot.

Indiana Pacers Roster Notes

G-F Tyreke Evans - 12 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Personal) - Evans did not play in Tuesday's game (Mar. 12).

G Victor Oladipo - 28 Jan 2019 - Out For Season (Ruptured Right Quadricep Tendon) - The Pacers announced Oladipo had a successful surgery on Monday (Jan 28) to repair a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee and is expected to make a full recovery.

Denver Nuggets Roster Notes

F Torrey Craig - 13 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Shoulder) - The Nuggets have listed Craig as QUESTIONABLE for Thursday's game (Mar. 14) against the Mavs.

F Trey Lyles - 13 Mar 2019 - Day To Day (Left Hamstring Strain) - The Nuggets have listed Lyles as QUESTIONABLE for Thursday's game (Mar. 14) against the Mavs.

F Michel Porter - 13 Feb 2019 - Out (Back) - Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has not ruled out a return this year for Porter Jr., according to Harrison Wind of BSN Denver.

Head-to-Head: Darren Collison (IND) vs Jamal Murray (DEN)

Look no further than the point of attack when the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets square off. Darren Collison is one of the steadiest point guards in the NBA and his consistency has led the Pacers to some impressive wins. On the other side, Jamal Murray is one of the sharpest shooters in the league and can light it up at a moments notice.

Darren Collison

Point Guard | 6-0, 175lb (183cm, 79kg) | UCLA | Exp. 9 Years

11.2 PPG | 6.0 APG | 3.2 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.1 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .471 FG% | .411 3P%

Very well one of the most underrated point guards in the league, Darren Collison has been a consistently productive asset for the Indiana Pacers. In a close win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Collison posted 17 points, 7 assist, 6 rebounds and 4 steals on the evening. A solid defender and playmaker, Collison would do well to challenge the Nuggets' young guards on the offensive end.

Jamal Murray

Point Guard | 6-4, 207lb (193cm, 93kg) | Kentucky | Exp. 2 Years

18.3 PPG | 4.9 APG | 4.2 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.3 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .431 FG% | .380 3P%

Jamal Murray is looking to rebound from a poor shooting night against the Dallas Mavericks. He posted 12 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds on 4-13 shooting. Murray needs to be a steadier force on offense for the Nuggets to succeed. He won't have an easier night against the Pacers' tough defense. Expect Murray to make more of an effort coming off of screens and cutting to the basket to create easier opportunities for himself.

Indiana Pacers at Denver Nuggets Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have the Denver Nuggets favored over the Indiana Pacers by 8, with an over/under of 109.

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