Nuggets coach Brian Shaw unloaded on his team following a 117-89 blowout loss to the Bulls in Chicago on Friday.
The first-year coach ripped the Nuggets' "pride" and desire after the 28-point defeat, a game in which Denver never held a lead and trailed by as many as 37 points.
The Denver Post reports Shaw's full post-game remarks.
“As a coach and coaching staff, it’s our job to try to find five players that want to go out and play and want to have some pride and not decide night-to-night that ‘I’m going to play this game and I’m not going to play this game.’ I felt like tonight we had some guys that just decided they weren’t going to play tonight, they weren’t going to put forth any effort to try to get the job done. It’s unfortunate. It’s a nationally televised game that we’re professionals and as a staff we have to beg guys to give effort when they play.
“I told our team I wish paychecks were predicated on night-to-night performance. So if you play like a star on a given night then you get paid like a star. If you play like an uninspired player, then either you don’t get paid or you get paid like an uninspired player. And you can’t just pick and choose when you want. Last night we played Milwaukee, who is obviously down players, they have injuries, they’ve been struggling all season long and we act like the big bad wolf against Milwaukee. And then we come in tonight … and we tuck our tails and we hide basically."
Friday's loss dropped Denver (25-29) to seven games out of the West's playoff picture. The Nuggets are 5-11 since Jan. 17, but they did score a 101-80 victory over the Bucks on Thursday night, to which Shaw alluded.
Shaw took the reins in Denver after the organization parted ways with longtime coach George Karl, who led the Nuggets to a franchise-best 57 wins in 2012-13. A series of injuries to Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson and Ty Lawson has effectively killed the Nuggets' postseason hopes; If Denver does land in the lottery, it would be the first time the franchise has missed the playoffs since 2003. The 2013-14 season has produced more than its fair share of coaches getting after their own teams following losses. Back in November, Randy Wittman was fined for using a profanity as he questioned the Wizards' "heart" and guts" following a loss to the Sixers. Later that month, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said that he had only one player -- Matthew Dellavedova -- compete during a loss to the Wizards. Then, in December, Michael Malone said that his Kings team had "hit rock bottom four or five times" and that they were a "bad basketball team" following a loss to the Pelicans.