At least Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw has kept his sense of humor.

That was after the Nuggets 99-69 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last Thursday, and that single moment of comedy was pretty much the only bit of levity in an otherwise very, very bleak week.

Two straight blowout losses, the aforementioned game to Memphis on the road and a stunning 104-86 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday that dropped the Nuggets’ record to under .500 at home, where they once were neigh on unbeatable. An illness that worked it’s way through the team, knocking forwards Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur out of the lineup – nothing is going right for Denver right now.

Shaw, who was also under the weather Saturday, summed up the state of the team pretty succinctly after the game.

“There’s not really a whole lot to say other than we’re not very good right now,” said Shaw. “I have to do a better job and everybody else has to do a better job.”

It’s no surprise that Shaw’s getting frustrated. His seat has to be feeling pretty hot right now. He’s been criticized for a lot decisions, from the rotation to how he wants to run the offense, but most damning has been his inability to get his team to buy in and play consistently, night-in and night-out. The Nuggets play hard, but as individuals, not as a unit. Whether the front office believes the onus for that is on Shaw or not will more than likely decide how long his time in Denver lasts.

With all that’s gone wrong with the Nuggets – an offense that’s been heading in the wrong direction since the season started and a defense that’s not far behind – it’s strange that they might not be bad enough right now.


At the rate the Nuggets are going now, those odds will likely improve, but not enough to make a real difference. Blame the silly lottery system the NBA still has in place.

It will next to impossible for the Nuggets to beat(?) teams like the Lakers, Timberwolves, Knicks, and 76ers in race to the bottom of the standings, which leaves them on the outside looking in – both in terms of the playoffs and a chance for a top-three lottery pick.

So what does that leave for the rest of Denver’s season? How long can the team’s ownership – who were dissatisfied with a 57-win season and playoff berth two years ago – allow things like last week to happen? The rumors swirling around in regards to the team acquiring Brook Lopez are proof that the front office isn’t content with what’s been happening at the Pepsi Center.

But at this point in the year, one or two trades isn’t going to make enough of a difference either way. The Nuggets are stuck in a rut, and if they can’t go low enough to reach the lottery, they better start showing some fire soon. Any improvement, hopefully from the franchise’s young player, but even just in terms of the team’s general attitude, would be welcome at this point.

Whether or that would be enough to keep this era of the franchise intact remains to be seen. Things have to get better at the Pepsi Center soon, because things can’t get much worse.

Zach Marburger is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BurchBurger.

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