With their leading scorer Paul George out with the flu, the Indiana Pacers needed someone to step up to fill the void.
“Wake up Mr. West… WAKE UP MR. WEST!” © Kanye West, Late Registration
David West recorded the first triple-double of his career to lead the Pacers over the Charlotte Bobcats for their fourth straight win. West finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Indiana is the hottest team in the league, winners of ten straight at home, six of its last seven and 13 of its last 16 overall.
“It’s just part of the game. Everything was within the flow of the game,” said West about his triple-double. “We’re built for the long stretch and we’ve got multiple guys on this team that are capable of having big nights.”
It was West’s turn to have a big game Saturday night. He was struggling coming into the contest, averaging only 9.6 points on 29.7% shooting in January. George’s big games and the Pacers’ team defense have taken focus off of West’s recent struggles. He responded to George’s absence by doing everything his team needed to beat a team they were expected to beat.
The Pacers did a great job of getting West in his sweet spots in the second half. He likes posting on the left block for either a turnaround baseline jumper over the right shoulder or a hook in the lane over the left shoulder. He’s also deadly in the middle of the floor around the free throw line coming off of pick and pop action with the guards.
He scored eight points in third quarter by getting to his spots and converting his looks. As a result, the Cats had to send a double team to him in the fourth quarter and he found the open man for great shots. West didn’t score in the fourth, but completely controlled the game by making the right decisions. Here’s a video of West’s second half where he showed off his “Power.”
Indiana hits the road for their next three games and George’s availability is uncertain. The Pacers need West to carry the team until their young star returns.