Brian Shaw is preaching a tougher, slower philosophy with the Denver Nuggets. He’s looking for a more rugged defensive style. He’s not going to try to outrun his opponents.
In many ways, this change from the go-go George Karl era makes sense. Defense rules in the playoffs, which the Nuggets rapidly depart each season.
But Shaw’s change of style doesn’t make much sense for this roster. Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried are two of the fastest players in the NBA. They thrive in a run-up-and-down-the-court style. They thrived last season while the Nuggets won 57 games.
Lawson and Faried will not thrive in Shaw’s slow-down style. And nobody will ever accuse Lawson of being a rugged, effective defender. He’s one of the worst defensive starters in the NBA, and his weakness never will change. He’s too short to slow down most NBA athletes.
How many wins this season for the Nuggets?
I’d put the cap at 40. And 40 might be optimistic after Wednesday’s loss at Sacramento.