During the Nuggets now eight-game losing streak Denver coach Brian Shaw has shifted away from using veteran reserve guard Andre Miller. Over the first 20 games this season Miller averaged 20 minutes a night but that has dwindled and in the previous three games Miller played 15 minutes, then 11, then nine…
Wednesday night he was a healthy scratch in the Nuggets ugly loss to Philly.
Miller yelled about the disrespect he felt he was being shown by sitting. And if he was being disrespected, he’d do the same to the Nuggets’ first-year head coach.
“There’s a time and place for everything,” Shaw said. “In the middle of the arena in front of everyone … I just tried to calm it down.”
Denver’s bench has been part of the problem during its eight game losing streak and was again Wednesday — Philly made runs when the starters rested. Shaw has said he is looking for guys who would give him that, he hasn’t seen it.
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Miller, 37, has seen his numbers dip some this season — his true shooting percentage has fallen 14 points to 53.4 percent (which is still close to his career average and the league average) and in his last 10 games that has fallen to 49.3 percent. This season he is assisting on 26.7 percent of his teammates buckets when on the court, well down from the 32.2 percent he was at last season. Plus his defense isn’t strong (the Pelicans torched him the other night with Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans).
That said, a lot of the blame for Miller’s numbers and Denver’s losing streak needs to fall at the feet of Brian Shaw — his offensive sets have turned the Nuggets from an attacking team in transition to one that seems to try and think through its halfcourt sets. The result is often Ty Lawson or Miller yo-yoing the ball for nine seconds then trying to find a desperation shot before the clock runs out. Denver is playing at basically the same pace as last season but it doesn’t feel like it when you watch them because of a more passive style of play. Part of that is personnel (they miss Andre Iguodala and his versatility) but part of it is system.
And Miller is not happy in this system. Obviously. We’ll see if his name comes up more around the trade deadline.
But at least Miller is showing some passion, which is more than you can say for many Nuggets.