Game Preview: Nuggets at Pacers
Big test for Denver as road trip continues in Indiana
When the Indiana Pacers visited Denver two weeks ago, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw walked away with a victory against the team that he helped reach the Eastern Conference finals as an assistant eight months earlier.
Repeating the feat could prove difficult when Shaw and the Nuggets face the Pacers again Monday night in Indianapolis.
Denver (24-25) will be without starting point guard Ty Lawson (fractured rib) as it continues its four-game road trip leading into the All-Star break. The Nuggets are coming off back-to-back losses in which they allowed an average of 122.5 points in New York and Detroit.
“The main thing for us is that we have to play tougher,” Denver guard Randy Foye said. “You've got to understand that you have to take on the challenge every single night. You've got to want to be confronted and meet confrontation head-to-head, and win the battle.
“You can't back down from anyone. As a team, as a group, we have to do a better job of fighting. We can make shots, we can hit 3s, but when it comes down to getting stops, we have to do it.”
Foye, a natural shooting guard, figures to get plenty of work at the point as Denver tries to succeed without a true point guard. Forward Quincy Miller is set to start in the backcourt as Shaw goes with a big lineup that will allow him to bring guard Evan Fournier off the bench.
Taking care of the ball will be key for the Nuggets, who are averaging 21.6 turnovers over their past five games.
NUGGETS AT PACERS
WHEN: 5 p.m. MT
WHERE: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis.
TV; RADIO: Altitude; AM-950
F Paul George
F David West
C Roy Hibbert
G Lance Stephenson
G George Hill
DENVER: Ty Lawson (franctured rib), Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson (strained knee ligament) are out.
INDIANA: None to report.
The Nuggets have won seven of the last nine meetings with the Pacers in Indianapolis, claiming four-straight at Indiana from 2004-08 . . . Before this recent six-year stretch of going 6-2 in Indiana, Denver had lost 15 of 16 on the road against the Pacers from 1988-2004 . . . Denver has gone 15-3 overall in the regular season against Indiana since 2004-05 . . . The Nuggets swept the season series with the Pacers in 2011-12 and have done so in five of the last eight years . . . Indiana is one of two current NBA franchises to have never had a player score 40+ points against Denver (New Orleans the other) . . . The Pacers and Nuggets are two of four original ABA franchises still in existence today (New Jersey and San Antonio the others).