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What to Watch In Nuggets Game at Indiana

by Christopher Dempsey
Nuggets Insider

INDIANAPOLIS – Here’s what to watch for in today’s Nuggets game at the Indiana Pacers, the fourth game in this six-game road trip.

Slow down Victor Oladipo: The Pacers combo guard is having the best season of his career back in the state where he played college basketball. He’s averaging career highs in points, rebounds, steals, field goal percentage and 3-point percentage. Moreover, he’s become a clutch player, and a reliable every night scorer. He’s a heavy pick-and-roll player, so the Nuggets will have to deal with a ton of screens when guarding him. If they can turn him into more of a playmaker rather than a scorer, where he’s shown a penchant for turning the ball over, that will give them a solid chance at slowing him down.

Get back in transition: The Pacers are using 18 percent of their possessions this season in transition, as opposed to just over 13 percent last season. They put a lot of pressure on the defense in the open court and look to get to the basket as quickly as possible. The Nuggets will be pressed to get back in transition, identify their defensive assignments and get organized against a high-octane Pacers team.

Keep Emmanuel Mudiay going: The Nuggets reserve point guard had a stellar outing in the team’s win over Orlando on Friday night. With Jamal Murray ailing with a calf injury – but playing – Mudiay could be forced into bigger minutes today. He was in attack mode against the Magic. Another aggressive performance off the bench could help stabilize things for a banged-up Nuggets team.

INJURY REPORT – Jamal Murray (calf) is expected to play. Paul Millsap (wrist) and Niola Jokic (ankle) are out of tonight’s game.

Christopher Dempsey: cdempsey@denverpost.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter