Let’s all take a moment to celebrate the Denver Nuggets 9-2 lead this evening. I’m no more a fan of moral victories than most, but there was very little else to be excited about tonight as Denver loses a laugher at home against the Portland Trail Blazers. How bad was it? Let’s throw out a few bullet points:

  • Kenneth Faried seems to have lost any semblance of care on defense, and looks just as lost on the other end of the floor. If the Manimal is still in there, he’s in deep hibernation. 10 points and four boards (to go with zero blocks and four fouls) in 24 minutes.
  • Arron Afflalo had four points in the first half in his 10 minutes of play, and did not see the floor again in the second half.
  • Timofey Mozgov had six points and was a -25 in +/-. Never a favorite one-game stat, but unfortunately telling tonight.
  • 21 assists, 12 turnovers, and 24 fouls on the night by the Nuggets. We’re literally sharing more with the other team than each other.
  • The Nuggets, who desperately needed to start hot and stay there, wrapped up the first half down 84-50. To a team coming off a close game against Charlotte at home last night, and who was playing their fourth game in the last five nights.
  • And was without a key player in Nicolas Batum.
  • Brian Shaw was the subject of scorn from all sides. According to reports from people at the game, there were tense moments with a couple players coming out of the game, and he was poorly received by several fans on the way off the floor.

I could go on, but I think you're seeing the picture. This is a team in crisis, it would appear. A shocking statement to make after Game Seven of this young season. It would appear that Shaw has lost much of the team already, or that the pieces are somehow fitting together so poorly as to be laughable. Even the lowest expectations in the preseason for this Denver Nuggets team didn't predict what's coming to pass.

Scarily enough, Denver doesn't appear to have answers looming on the horizon. Play is getting progressively worse instead of better, and Denver starts a three-game Eastern road trip over the next five days. Barring a miracle, a firing, or several players concluding that they remember how to play basketball and want to do so for Brian Shaw, it's beginning to look like a long season indeed.

I'll try to keep most of my opinions out of a recap, as this is more to report what happened in the game than to spout my thoughts, but I'll leave off with one. Everyone associated with this mess ought to be ashamed of themselves in this moment. If the players have given up on a system that is hard for them to adopt after seven lousy games, shame on them. If Brian Shaw, who has always been labelled a "players coach" needs to have a second clear-the-air meeting in two seasons to rectify this craziness, shame on him.

Another night, another ugly ugly loss for your Denver Nuggets. What a shame. What do you have left in the tank, Stiffs?