The Denver Nuggets have lost six of their last seven games, and head coach Brian Shaw appears to have reached his boiling point. After Friday night’s 117-89 loss to the Chicago Bulls, Shaw ripped his players for their lack of effort.
“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,’” he told reporters, per Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “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.
The Nuggets have had their ups and downs in Shaw’s first season as head coach, but they have not played well since the start of the season. The team was 14-9 on Dec. 15. They have gone 11-20 since and are fading from playoff contention.
“I told our team I wish paychecks were predicated on night-to-night performance,” Shaw continued. “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.”
Shaw added that his team acted like the “big bad wolf” by beating the Milwaukee Bucks — the worst team in the NBA — on Thursday night and following it up by getting blown out in Chicago.
Back in December, Shaw said his team needed to warm up more before games to avoid slow starts. It appears he is now running out of answers.