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Brian Shaw might not be long for Nuggets

After a disappointing 2013-14 campaign filled with injuries, the Denver Nuggets came into this season with higher expectations. Kenneth Faried played great with Team USA over the summer and was rewarded with a contract extension. Arron Afflalo was brought back to provide more scoring. Danilo Gallinari was hopefully going to be healthy and closer to his old form. And the team would be more comfortable in the second year of head coach Brian Shaw’s system.

Let’s just say things haven’t gone as planned.

The Nuggets fell to 19-30 (and an awful 19-28-2 against the spread, per VegasInsider.com) with an embarrassing 105-98 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, the latest in a string of embarrassing losses that could have Shaw on the hot seat. The final score wasn’t indicative of how poorly Denver played, as the margin was 21 points at halftime and as high as 26 points in the third quarter.

Photo Credit: CBSSports.com

Photo Credit: CBSSports.com

The Nuggets have lost three games in a row and 10 of 11 since a five-game winning streak brought their record to 18-20. The last three losses have all been debacles, with each one seemingly worse than the last. There was a 30-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last Thursday, a game in which Denver scored just 69 points. That was followed by a 104-86 loss at home to the Charlotte Hornets, and in that game, the Nuggets trailed by 32 points at halftime and were booed off the floor. Then came the Sixers disaster.

Denver has had its fair share of other terrible losses this season. There was a 43-point loss to the Golden State Warriors. A 28-point loss to the Hornets. Losses to the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers that involved those teams scoring 130 points. Not to mention losses to the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics, some of the dregs of the league.

Exacerbating the issues have been Shaw’s brutally honest comments to the media. After the latest loss to the Hornets, Shaw ripped the effort of his players and said he thought maybe they were trying to lose, according to Nick Groke of The Denver Post:

“It just looks like you almost have to try to lose as bad, and in the way we’ve been losing,” he said. “At that point, something gives. The decision-makers at some point are going to make a decision. And everybody is going to have to live with it. Then it’s out of our control.

“The only thing I can control is doing my job to the best of my ability. And that’s what I expect them to do. Do I feel like that’s always been the case? No. Do I share responsibility in that? Yeah.”

This isn’t the first time Shaw has recently bus-tossed his players, but Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly told Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post that there are currently no plans to make a coaching change.

For now, it appears the plan is to revamp the roster with Shaw at the helm, and the front office has been aggressively looking to make moves. There have already been several trades made, including a deal of Timofey Mozgov for two first-round picks. The Nuggets also reportedly tried to pawn JaVale McGee and J.J. Hickson on the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Brook Lopez.

However, if these embarrassing losses continue, there may be no other choice but to jettison Shaw.



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