Nuggets rotate more than rotisserie chicken

Coach Brian Shaw must begin to settle in on a solid rotation soon - Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Through five games the Nuggets are averaging 11 players who have seen action. As we move forward in the 77 games left in the year, one hopes that Brian Shaw settles on some sort of consistency.

Look. I understand the need to "find out what you have". I really do.

This has been a feeling out process for everyone involved. Injured players, new players you need to incorporate, a coach who is new to ... well ... head coaching, and a roster that's getting used to said coach. It's a process as everyone involved with the Nuggets will tell you both in public and in private. That being said...

It's probably about time the Nuggets, even with their injuries, settle in on a semi-permanent rotation until said injured players return. It's now getting to the point where rotations are starting to defy rhyme or reason and in some cases may actually hurt what the Nuggets are trying to accomplish: player development. If anything is a classic case in point, it was last night's game against the Phoenix Suns.

Some things simply werent working. For example Timofey Mozgov and high priced center JaVale McGee were getting owned on the block by Miles Plumlee (!) and Brian Shaw HAD to do something. Yet, this is the second game this season where JaVale logged less than 15 minutes in a game. This was probably the most effective move Shaw could make in removing his centers from the game against a team that was going small. However, the Nuggets seemed to make no attempt to force their will on Phoenix. They just reacted and didn't dictate.

This, unfortunately is a side affect of using so many players in one game. While the Nuggets may have a plethora of players who you can throw into a game at any given moment ... it also serves in diluting development of key players IF that is your intention to do so, McGee being case study number 1. IF the Nuggets, as their stated offseason intent, want to develop McGee, then he needs to be out there ... warts and all. If you can't trust JaVale he MUST be traded. If you believe he can't get better by more minutes the you must take him off the bench. The weird allotment of minutes doesn't help him, and it doesn't help the team.

The Nuggets, Brian Shaw specifically, have been guilty of using far too many players this young season. At this point, and through the preseason, you should KNOW who can play.


Additionally, once Shaw found the combination he liked in the Phoenix game he ran with it for nearly an entire quarter (3rd). When other players came in it broke up the rhythm and the Nuggets were never able to gain traction in the 4th. Add to that, Evan Fournier actually looked good in the limited minutes he played (7) and looked considerably better than Randy Foye who ended up with nearly 30 minutes. Are we trying to develop Fournier? I thought that was the goal?

The Nuggets, Brian Shaw specifically, have been guilty of using far too many players this young season. At this point, and through the preseason, you should KNOW who you should play. The constant in and out and lineup indecision is a serious impediment to players you claimed needed further development after the chaos of the offseason.

I'm assuming when Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are both back, the starting unit will be much more concrete. However, you must ALWAYS have a concrete lineup. Constant in and out, push and pull, hurts the development of young players and can serve as a wreck to the confidence of those who believed they earned starters minutes. Eventually, soon, Shaw will have to just settle on a rotation for the good of his team. Waiting for Wilson and Gallo to get back shouldn't impede a consistent rotation.

In order for the Nuggets to take steps in development, as both coaches and players, there must be some sort of surety. Otherwise it will be a long year for everyone, including the coach.

***

Twitter: @jmorton78

mortonagency@juno.com

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