Denver Nuggets: Brian Shaw Has a Particularly Intriguing Strength He Brings to the Team

By Ryan Heckman


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Nuggets made the best move possible in hiring Brian Shaw to be their next head coach. Entering the 2013-2014 season, Denver will likely have a brand new mentality going forward and fans should be elated for the potential.

Shaw spoke with the Denver Post about his coaching style and he enlightened us on the one thing he doesn’t allow players to do:

“When I had a young player like Paul George or Lance Stephenson in Indiana, if they wanted to just cut corners, I’d just remind them, ‘There’s a guy on the coast who’s one of the best to ever play the game (Kobe Bryant), and he doesn’t cut corners.’ ”

Shaw was an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers and was credited in part with helping Bryant and center Andrew Bynum reach the highest potential they had as NBA players. In regards to Bryant, Shaw had this to say:

“He puts in his work. He respects the game. He takes care of his body.”

One of Shaw’s first goals as head coach will be to get his players to understand this philosophy. No cutting corners – I like it.

As a Nuggets fan, I would be filled with tons of hope at the moment. While I like and admire the work George Karl has put in over the years, Shaw’s presence will bring a necessary change.

Getting the absolute most out of his players is at the top of his priority list. Watching how he helped develop guys like George and Stephenson most recently, you can tell he knows his stuff. George, specifically, praised his former coach on Tuesday:

“He has an expectation level that he holds everyone to, and he does any and everything in his will to push you to it,” George said.

Looking forward to this offseason and coming regular season, I cannot wait to see what Shaw does with JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried. McGee has had trouble reaching his potential, but his athleticism and length give him the tools to be a great player in this league.

Faried, meanwhile, is already on his way to becoming a star. The physicality and intensity he brings every game is something Shaw can build on. He definitely comes into a great situation, looking to develop some young guys even further.

“Obviously the players have to put in the work, but you have to use them and put them in a position to succeed — and you have to live with the mistakes they’ll make. You have to be patient, but at the same time, be firm. I can live with the mistakes as long as the player is actually putting in the time and working.”

It sounds like Denver has made the correct decision and can look forward to – hopefully – an even better 2013. Last year was a success, but Shaw can put them over the top.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman“Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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