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Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw unhappy with lack of energy from rotation players following loss to Suns

Nov 9, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Brian Shaw AP

PHOENIX — The Suns improved to 4-2 on the young season with a 114-103 win over the Nuggets on Friday, in a contest that saw some extremely wild swings in both score and momentum before the night was through.

The first half was all Phoenix, as they followed up a 35-point first quarter by holding Denver to just 18 in the second, and led by 17 points at intermission. The third quarter began as the first half ended, with the Suns cruising and maintaining their large lead for another couple of minutes before Ty Lawson decided to strike.

Lawson singlehandedly outscored Phoenix 21-20 in the third, and the Nuggets turned an 18-point deficit into an 11-point lead in the span of less than eight minutes. Phoenix fought back to cut the Denver lead to just three heading into the fourth, before the Suns reclaimed momentum and pulled away for the team’s impressive fourth win of the season.

The Nuggets continue to struggle to find any type of cohesiveness, and are now just 1-4 on the season. JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov were brutal defensively, to the point where head coach Brian Shaw had no choice but to sit them for the bulk of the night after being woefully ineffective during their short stints on the floor.

“I’m at a loss for words from the lack of energy from some of our guys that are rotation guys,” Shaw said afterward, while discussing his disappointment in his team’s slow start.

“I tried to stick with our normal rotation, but with the speed of their bigs, they spaced out the floor and it just wasn’t a game I thought JaVale or Timo could ever make an impact in,” he said. “Just lapses defensively, not having good court balance and getting back. We take the layups away, and we’re giving up walk-up threes in transition. But what I’m most interested in is the low energy level of some of our guys. We’re deep enough at a few positions where if those guys aren’t going to come with any energy, then I’ll just go down the bench and find the guys that want to play, and their minutes and their opportunities will go down.”

Meanwhile, this Suns team has been a blast to watch in the early going, in part due to young talent like Eric Bledsoe and Miles Plumlee, and a work ethic that makes you want to root for these guys to succeed. Markieff Morris reached a career high for a second straight game off the bench with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, and while his production outweighs that of Channing Frye in the starting lineup, his presence on the second unit has been far more valuable to the team’s overall success.

  1. belleby123 - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    This just in: Nuggets’ fans unhappy with lack of George Karl as head coach. What, was the team getting too good?

    • football58 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      By too good you mean one and done every year in the playoffs. Sometimes you need to take a step backwards before you can go forward. Notice how no one else hired George Karl.

      • belleby123 - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

        No one else hired Stan Gundy, either. They’re both very good coaches. Was Denver the highest scoring team in the NBA last year? That would be an affirmative. Does anyone on the planet think Shaw will be better? You tell me.

      • football58 - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM

        Highest scoring team mean what? Absolutely nothing when it comes to winning playoffs series. Nuggets fans don’t miss Karl, it was time to go. If Shaw is coaching the Nuggets for 9 years then YES he will get past the first round more than once. I think you have to give Shaw more than 5 games before you pull the plug. How about see what he does when he has Wilson Chandler and Gallinari back in the lineup for an extended period of time before you throw in the towel.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        “If Shaw is coaching the Nuggets for 9 years then YES he will get past the first round more than once.”

        That’s a bold statement. Shaw is probably gone after this season.

  2. antistratfordian - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    I don’t like Shaw’s tone in these comments – which are all just a tad too amateurish for my tastes. But he’s always come across as an incompetent in disguise to me.

  3. dyn0myte - Nov 9, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    “…But he’s always come across as an incompetent in disguise to me.”

    Seven years as a trusted assistant coach for Phil Jackson.
    Respected as a player and a coach by Kobe Bryant.

    But you can see through his “disguise”

    …and we’re supposed to take you seriously?

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