George Karl sounds off on the Nuggets, Brian Shaw

Jed Jacobsohn

Like a typical George Karl interview he is brutally honest on the Nuggets current team, the Danilo Gallinari situation, how life is without coaching a NBA team. Really recommend it because it's a good listen, even if you disagree with everything he says. It can be downloaded in its entirety here, from 102.3 ESPN in the Locker Room podcast section. Below, I quoted the really interesting stuff that relates to our current coach, Brian Shaw and George Karl's difference in coaching philosophy

After the game against Milwaukee, Brian Shaw sounded off about the current Nuggets team:

Shaw: I’ve never been around a group of guys that I’ve had to encourage to shoot it. A big part of it is the guys last year with George Karl everything was to the rim, to the rim, to the rim. And I think that sometimes you can do that, but when you have a rim protector like Larry Sanders, unless you take it all the way to his chest it is going to be tough to take it inside.

After coaching Roy Hibbert in the playoffs last year, JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony kept attacking the rim. It’s tough to score with a great rim protector. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. New York did. And that is why you always have to take the open shots when you have them. You always think you are going to get something better, but it is better to shoot it within the rhythm of the offense.

Karl was asked about Shaw's comments on "The Locker Room," radio program by Gary Miller:

Karl: There is no question that there is a philosophical difference in what he was saying and what I believe in. You know, I’ll be honest with you, I can’t stand the shot selection that the Denver Nuggets have now. They take more bad shots and more tough two’s then any team in the NBA. Tough two’s go in 40% of the time. I don’t care if you’re open or not, that’s what goes in. And it’s been that same percentage for 10 years, so if you want to try to win basketball games making 40% of your shots ...

There are teams that win that way, don’t get me wrong. The Portland Trailblazers are a jump shooting team and they make 45-46%. In general, I don’t mind jump shots, but they have to be incorporated into the philosophy that I am trying to do. If a team is going to take away the rim and give us wide open jump shots, we are going to take them. I’d prefer that jump shot to be a 3 pointer. It’s a basic philosophy. It’s a simple philosophy. And it’s based on that a wide open 18 foot jump shot is not a good shot in the NBA game today.

I generally agree that Denver does take too many bad shots especially in the mid-range game and with mostly inefficient shooters. At the same time, probably best if Karl doesn't talk about the current coach much as not much good can come of it. Know he was asked the questions, and gave a candid answer, so hard to be mad at him for that.

Brian Shaw likewise, would be better off not using Karl as an excuse for the current team's situation months after he became the coach. He needs to be judged on his own merits, and not comparing himself to Karl. There are a lot of excuses for the Nuggets current situation, many perfectly legitimate, but you don't like hearing the coach making them.

Write respectfully of your SB Nation community and yourself.