Denver Nuggets rookie head coach Brian Shaw was afraid to rip his players after a disappointing blowout loss to the Chicago Bulls on a nationally televised game Friday night. His team didn’t show any effort on the defensive side of the ball which just can’t happen if you want to win. Denver surrendered 117 points to a Chicago Bulls team that averages just around 92 points per game — they eclipsed their season average in just third quarter.
Brian Shaw took to the media and this is what he had to say via Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post:
“As a coach and coaching staff, it’s our job to try to find five players that want to go out and play and want to have some pride and not decide night-to-night that ‘I’m going to play this game and I’m not going to play this game.’ I felt like tonight we had some guys that just decided they weren’t going to play tonight, they weren’t going to put forth any effort to try to get the job done. It’s unfortunate. It’s a nationally televised game that we’re professionals and as a staff we have to beg guys to give effort when they play”
One of the players that he could be pointing the finger at is small forward Wilson Chandler. Chandler looked lackadaisical in the first-quarter, failing to box out Jimmy Butler on multiple occasions and would try to run out on the fast-break while Chicago would retain an offensive rebound. Another player I would have in mind is center J.J. Hickson, who started the game 0-5 from the field. He would finish with just 6 points on 3-of-9 shooting as he only played 20 minutes.
Here is more on what Shaw said about how players pay should be determined on how well they play & about the injuries.
“I told our team I wish paychecks were predicated on night-to-night performance. So if you play like a star on a given night then you get paid like a star. If you play like an uninspired player, then either you don’t get paid or you get paid like an uninspired player. And you can’t just pick and choose when you want. Last night we played Milwaukee, who is obviously down players, they have injuries, they’ve been struggling all season long and we act like the big bad wolf against Milwaukee. And then we come in tonight…and we tuck our tails and we hide basically. We don’t defend at all, from the onset of the game until the end. And thus another 30-point loss for us on the road.
Shaw said he played newly acquired players Aaron Brooks and Jan Vesely most of the fourth quarter due to the fact that they are ‘hungry to play’ and that they actually want to play. Shaw is hoping this message finally reaches out to his players who apparently appear to be packing it in for the season. Shaw reiterated he doesn’t care that they make some mistakes, as long as they are out there giving it all they have, saying – “I’m going to play the guys who want to put forth the effort and want to play like professionals and go out and earn their paychecks.”