Some teams draw curtains in front of them or drape towels unceremoniously over all that wisdom. Others turn them around, if they’re the portable variety on wheels. A few actually leave the white boards in their pregame locker rooms available for all to see.
The Denver Nuggets allegedly take another approach: They ignore them.
That’s what guard Ty Lawson accused the Denver players of doing, piling on from coach George Karl‘s criticisms from the night before. Those came after Denver let a tired, undermanned Minnesota team off the hook on the second night of a back-to-back trip, an underperformance at home that got Karl talking about “immaturity and arrogance of our practice.”
Karl sounded buoyed by a spirited practice Friday, but Lawson wasn’t about to ease up on the Nuggets the way his team did on the Timberwolves. Echoing his postgame remarks – including the “no one’s really reading it” comment about the white board – Lawson fleshed out his criticism:
“It’s just [following] our game plan. We go through, like, an hour of the plan before games, and the day before and shootarounds and we never, really, are 100 percent on it,” Lawson said. “We’re always breaking down, forgetting this and that, and we’ve just got to get better at that. We’ve got to be more focused. It’s a little immaturity on everybody’s part.”
The Nuggets players apparently hashed some of this out prior to their practice Friday, then gave an honest day’s effort that had Karl talking about “pride.” But as Adrian Dater noted in his story, the key for the developing Denver squad won’t be its renewed focus for a day or two. It will be the Nuggets’ ability to consistently prepare and tackle their jobs like grown-ups game after game after game.
In the meantime, the Denver coaching staff might want to borrow an old teacher’s blackboard trick: Bury something in fine print in the typical white-board mix of strategizing, reminders and atta-boys to see if they’re paying attention. Like “First guy to knock on George’s door gets a gift card to Frasca Food and Wine.” That’s the No. 1 restaurant pick by “5280”, the Denver magazine, the past two years running.
That should up the comprehension, if not the retention or the results.