The Denver Nuggets currently sit 8th in the Western Conference with a record of 23-28. While their overall record might not seem too positive, when you look at how the Nuggets have been performing since Christmas, their record and play indicates at least an above .500 product when taking the floor. Since Christmas, the Nuggets are 11-10 and they have the third best offense during that stretch (113.0 Pp/100).
One player who has been an integral part of giving the Nuggets such an efficient offensive attack has been their center Nikola Jokic, who is posting 21.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists since December 25, 2016. Looking at that last stat, the 5.6 assists per game – Jokic has to find teammates to make shots to collect those numbers, and third year guard Gary Harris is one of those players who is making the shots Jokic is providing.
So far this season, Harris, 22, is averaging a career high 12.9 points per game, and shooting career bests of 47.3% overall and 41.5% from three. One particular way Jokic has been finding Harris during the last two months has been through the use of the ‘2 Pin-Down into three from 5’ set.
While that name sounds like there’s a lot going on, when you really break down the play step by step, you’ll see how much action is taking place on both the left and right side of the floor when the play in being implemented. Here’s the play diagram.
As 1 (usually Emmanuel Mudiay or Jameer Nelson) feed the ball to Jokic on the left side of the floor, the two defenders on that end are usually occupied. While that’s going on, Harris (2) is setting a pin-down screen for 3, where Jokic can find 3 cutting if he’s open, but, the motion continues as 4 quickly comes to the right corner and sets a pin-down screen for Harris to use and get free.
With Jokic’s unique passing ability, he’s able to read the floor and deliver perfect passes to Harris coming off the screen for quality looks from the outside, as the video clips below show.
While the Nuggets are working to try to hold off the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks and New Orleans Pelicans from swiping the 8th seed from them, their defense at the end of the day will be the deciding factor in how far their season will go. Though the Nuggets are rolling since Christmas on the offensive end, the opposite is happening on the defensive end, where Denver is allowing 112.5 Pp/100 (ranked 30th since Christmas) on the other end of the floor.