When you hear Brian Shaw talk about wanting to play "inside-out" you immediately think that the end of the go-go Nuggets is upon us. Sure, Shaw paid lip-service to wanting to run at his press conferences after he was hired, but did anyone really believe him? After all, aren't we constantly being told that in order to win in the post-season that you cannot be a running team?
Well, Shaw is sticking to wanting to run, but his team isn't following suit. During the fourth quarter collapse against the San Antonio Spurs, it was Shaw voicing concern, after the game, over his team not pushing the pace.
"We were content in just bringing the ball up and running plays," said Shaw. "We only got nine fast-break points against a Spurs team that ... Ty [Lawson] and Tony Parker, quickness wise, they cancel each other out, but I thought that we should be able to outrun some of their veteran players."
Wait, Shaw wanted his team to push the pace?
"We were content with coming down and setting up," said Shaw. "And for whatever reason we just kept throwing the ball inside to the bigs and just standing around on the perimeter in the second half and that's not how we play."
Stop the presses! Isn't the whole inside-out philosophy going to slow down the game? Well, not exactly.
"We do play inside-out," said Shaw. "But when we do throw the ball inside, we're supposed to have movement - cut with force and cut with purpose - and we weren't doing that. We just lost our mind in the fourth quarter. I think we were fatigued and didn't have the stamina to sustain for the complete 48 minutes."
The Nuggets are looking for a balanced offense. Push the pace when you have the opportunities: turnovers and after missed shots. The Nuggets did have just nine points on the fast-break and for a roster that has Lawson, Nate Robinson, and especially Kenneth Faried, they have to find that balance of when to run and when to set up the half-court offense. It seems like a pretty simple formula to follow: run on turnovers and after missed shots. But Shaw seems to be having issues getting through to his players on some specific issues.
"I hope they get sick-and-tired of feeling the way that I feel after these games; losing isn't fun," said Shaw. "If we just do what we're supposed to do and stay solid then we'll be okay and we did that for three quarters and we didn't sustain it throughout the fourth quarter."
The Nuggets were a strong fourth quarter team last season. That's the whole plan in Denver: use the altitude. Shaw wants his team to be the dominant fourth quarter squad, especially at home.
"We're supposed to be the ones that take advantage of this altitude," said Shaw. "We scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, that killed us in a couple of games that we played so far where we haven't been able to score in the fourth quarter. That's where we're supposed to lock down and keep the pressure on the other team and we're not doing that, it's flipped on us."
The go-go Nuggets don't have to go and Shaw wants the team to run. Finding an offensive balance will be key.
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