Karl Gehring/The Denver Post
Home » Blog » Nuggets pull the plug on Brian Shaw

Nuggets pull the plug on Brian Shaw

Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

After 19 losses in their last 21 games, the Denver Nuggets pulled the plug on head coach Brian Shaw. Assistant coach Melvin Hunt will take over as head coach for the rest of the season, and the Nuggets don’t seem to be in any rush to name a permanent replacement.

Shaw didn’t even make it two years into his tenure in Denver before being let go. Last year was marred by injuries and resulted in a 36-46 record, but there were higher hopes coming into this season. Instead, the year devolved into a complete and utter disaster.

The play on the floor was uneven over the first few months, with stretches of competence mixed in with a whole lot of poor effort. The defense was often an embarrassment, and the offense was thoroughly mediocre. Even so, the Nuggets’ record stood at a respectable enough 18-20 at one point in the season. Not good, but not awful.

Since that point, Denver has been inarguably the worst team in the league. The team has been an embarrassment on both sides of the floor, and there have been a host of of unacceptable losses. Several players (Timofey Mozgov, Arron Afflalo, Nate Robinson, JaVale McGee) have been traded throughout the year, but Kenneth Faried is still there and Ty Lawson remains in place as the starting point guard after having his name in trade rumors. Wilson Chandler also survived the trade deadline, almost surprisingly.

Faried has been a huge disappointment this season after a dominant summer with Team USA earned him a contract extension. Lawson has had a solid season statistically, but he has had some off-the-court issues.

There have been some major problems in the locker room this season, and things got worse and worse as the losses piled up. Shaw questioned the effort of his players on several occasions, and he even admitted that he had a difficult time connecting to them. The former head coach tried a variety of methods to get through to his team, but nothing worked.

Now that Shaw has gotten the ax, we’ll see if the Nuggets turn things around at all under Hunt. Denver obviously has no chance at reaching the playoffs, but it would be a plus if the embarrassing losses stopped. Although perhaps the Nuggets should just keep losing in embarrassing fashion, because that could spur more change and would help secure a better draft pick.

Denver needs more young talent to go along with Jusuf Nurkic, the rookie center who has been one of the few bright spots during this mess of a season. Nurkic is still a bit raw and fouls way too much, but he has the makings of being a quality player for years to come.

It’ll be interesting to see who the Nuggets bring in to replace Shaw on a full-time basis, whenever the decision is made to go after one. Mike D’Antoni could be a candidate, and many of the usual names will likely pop up, like Mark Jackson and Alvin Gentry. We’ll see what direction Denver turns to try and turn the franchise around.


  • 100%