Statistically, David West is having a down year. He is scoring 12.2 points a game, nearly five off last-year’s pace. That’s in part because he’s taking three fewer shots per game, it’s in part that he is shooting 44.2 percent (down from 49.8 percent last season).
And West doesn’t really care.
That’s because the Pacers are winning — 15-1 to start the season. West is the ultimate veteran glue guy for a team and he is leading the Pacers by example, as he explained to the Indy Star.
“We talked about at the beginning of the year that everyone was going to have to make sacrifices, so it’s no big deal,” West said as the Pacers prepared for tonight’s game against Washington at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “That’s just the way this team is built.
“We’ve got multiple guys that can produce at a high level, five guys averaging double figures. We’re being productive. That’s how our offense is geared this year.
“So, I focus on other things.”
Paul George has emerged as an elite player in the league. Roy Hibbert needs to get touches in the post. Lance Stephenson and George Hill can knock down shots. What makes the Pacers difficult to defend is their versitlity — and at some point they will get Danny Granger back to add another scoring option to the roster.
What West talks about is efficiency — how well did he shoot the ball and how well did the Pacers do defensively and shutting the other team down. Which is pretty much a coach’s dream.
West also has security — two seasons after this at $12 million a year. He doesn’t need numbers for a new contract, he can just focus on what he really wants.
Wins. And a ring.