The Pacers may have found a diabolical way to slow down Jalen Brunson

With the absence of OG Anunoby, Jalen Brunson was guarded by Aaron Nesmith in Game 3 and struggled quite a bit. The Pacers may have found something.
New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three
New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Jalen Brunson will still get his no matter what, but the Pacers may have found a way to make it harder on him.

With the recent news of OG Anunoby being out for Games 3, 4, and perhaps even 5, the Indiana Pacers entered the first game of the series in Indiana with new hope and a new game plan against Jalen Brunson.

Initially, Indiana stuck Andrew Nembhard on him for the first two games, which resulted in not-so-favorable results, as Brunson averaged 36 points on 57% from the ieild and 40% from deep and led New York to a 2-0 series lead.

Following Anunoby's injury, however, the Pacers gained the ability to focus their bigger defenders on Brunson, with Aaron Nesmith getting the assignment in Game 3 to do what no other Indiana defender could do, which is slow down Jalen Brunson. The hope was, with Nesmith's size and lateral quickness, he would be able to swarm Brunson and make life tougher on him, contesting his every shot and not giving him any easy buckets.

Sure enough, this worked like a charm to start the game. In nine first-quarter minutes, Brunson could not get anything going, scoring only two points on 1/5 shooting and committing three turnovers. Nesmith's defense seemed to be bothering Brunson more than any other Pacer player's could, and it showed in the box score.

While Brunson would pick up his play in the second and third quarters, Nesmith still played fantastically on him, as Brunson only made two of his first nine shots with Nesmith as his primary defender.

Noticeably, when Andrew Nembhard was switched back onto Brunson, he looked like a completely different player, being way more confident with his shot and ready to strike as he did in the first two games. However, when Nesmith was on him, Brunson did not look confident at all, even looking shellshocked at times.

To end it off, Brunson only scored seven points on 2/7 shooting in the fourth quarter, as Nesmith was once again giving him a very tough time and not allowing any easy buckets, with his defense being an integral part of Indiana's comeback win.

Next. Next story. Three best Pacers playoff moments vs. the Knicks. dark

Jalen Brunson is not an easy player to stop, as teams have had to figure out the hard way this season, including the Indiana Pacers. However, with Anunoby out, the Knicks have one less offensive weapon on the table, and, if Aaron Nesmith plays on Brunson for as long as Anunoby is out for, it may be just enough to give Indiana the upper hand.