The Denver Nuggets were obviously going to be switching up the way they played in the 2013-2014 NBA season with the arrival of Brian Shaw as their new head coach, replacing George Karl. Karl ran a high-octane offensive system that encouraged his team to get out and run and attack the rim with reckless abandon, which actually fit this team very well.
However, Shaw is looking to instill more of a system with this Nuggets team. He has said that he wants this team to continue their fast pace, but the difference is that he wants to do so to get into their offense quicker rather than to try and get to the rim.
Through the Nuggets’ first two games of the preseason, it’s pretty clear that it’s going to take some time for this team to pick up and get accustomed to Shaw’s offense. Though they are 1-1 over two games, both against the Los Angeles Lakers, their offense hasn’t been nearly as effective as they would like it to be when they get into the regular season.
In the Nuggets’ first game, they shot only 42.4 percent from the floor and only 29.4 percent from three. To make matters worse, they turned the ball over 28 times. Granted, it’s still a preseason game, but the Nuggets’ first unit looked uncomfortable in Shaw’s offense and it felt as if they wanted to get out and run like last season, but were being held back by trying to run the new offense.
That feeling continued and was even a bit stronger in their second game on Tuesday night. In that contest, the Nuggets shot 33 percent from the floor and only 14.3 percent from three, though they were able to limit their turnovers to only 13. They did a better job of getting into the offense and running it, but they struggled to find good looks and get what they wanted offensively, leading to that feeling that there was a lack of comfort.
As the preseason and the year rolls on, the Nuggets will more than likely develop a higher level of ease in Shaw’s offense and will have better results. Having said that, it still feels as if this team, led by point guard Ty Lawson and having a ton of quick, athletic players, is best suited in a system like Karl’s. They are certainly struggling with Shaw’s offense right now; whether or not it gets better from here remains to be seen.
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