Nuggets Snub White Boards, Stub Toes

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.


  1. RK says:

    Gallo……If you seriously want to improve your game, get your butt into that weight room and put on 20lbs of upper body muscle. Work on your leg strength and conditioning. Get better by getting stronger and you won’t get pushed around as much and taken out of your game by the likes of Metta and others. You’ve got the outside game… on your post-ups to take it to another level. Just saying’

    Awesome 3 last night to bury the Lakers!

  2. Gallinari is the X-Factor says:

    Until McGee fully develops, Gallo has to play like an All-Star…. and neither event seems likely to happen soon

    George Karl has to force Gallo to be aggressive every game. ( Not just jacking up 3-pointers) but using that 6’10 frame to

    get to the free throw line.

  3. Marcelo says:

    Coach! Denver needs a really good coach.

  4. Bernard says:

    This is the same team that beat the clippers. #IJS

    • TWizz says:

      Yep. Nuggets have great potential, but they do not play consistently at all.

    • Common Sense says:

      Yes, but keep in mind a few things about the Clippers. But before I point this out, Denver is a solid team and I have mad respect for them, what they are doing and their tough schedule. So back to that clipper game.
      1. Clippers celebrated their New Years 12/31, as the best team in the NBA, and a perfect December, I’m sure they celebrated a little more than the typical team.
      2. Immediately after that they woke up in Denver to play against this Nuggets team who had been resting since the 29th loss in Memphis(not much to celebrate)
      3. Billups and Hill are out and Crawford twisted his ankle yet continued playing through it.
      4. Once they were losing they had to seriously think of calling the game in order to save some strength for the travel to Oakland that night to play their division rival Warriors who are young and on fire the next day.
      5. Which by the way, after all of these points from 1-4, and knowing their streak had come to an end, there was no way they were going to show up in Oakland, and they didn’t.But they sure crushed them tonight without Crawford

  5. Dahype says:

    Imho…lawson needs to go and sad to say so does george karl…the nuggets need a general on court ala gp was for the george karl coached sonics and lawson is no gp…he’s a solid player but he’s not a floor general

  6. Kobbie says:

    This is coming from the “leader” who has had how many single digit performances this year… 5??? 6??? C’mon Lawson your lazy Floor Generalship is part of the problem. Worry about fixing YOU before you start casting stones.

  7. Macky says:

    No one’s game plans goes exactly 100% throughout a game. Unless it’s a really good team vs. a really bad team but even then breakdowns happen. Denver is 10-2 at home. They aren’t a bad team at all. And who has played more road games then them? They’ll finish 5th or 6th in the Western Conference. They just need to make sure they win all the games vs below .500 teams. That and being solid at home. Things will be better in Denver once they play more home games.

  8. Scott The Magician says:

    Im happy Lawson is stepping up as a vocal leader and being upset with his team. Iggy is a character guy and a great second leader but he isnt the leader of any team hes ever been a part of. Nuggets have no true leader, this could be the biggining of a change in denver.
    keep on them Lawson!!!

  9. googergieger says:

    Now what is going to be done about the fact George Karl loves going small with Faried and Andre Miller, both of who can’t spread the floor even the slightest and one of which is a big liability on defense? What is going to be done about the fact Karl is in love with a two point guard line up in Lawson and Miller even though they can’t play off the ball and are both liabilities on defense. Much more every time that it is used other teams go on runs. What is going to be done about the fact there is still no solid rotation and when McGee does play out of his mind good he still gets benched and Karl still ends up giving his favorites the most minutes even though they are useless out there. Koufos had a good game against Minnesota(on offense anyways) but had four horrible ones in a row before that and still got more minutes than McGee.

    This team needs a new coach. Otherwise low seed and first round play off bounce yet again. These young players need to be worked into greatness. And that isn’t going to happen with someone who’s game plan for offense and defense and rotations and everything else is, “wing it”.

    Also some consistent and fair officiating wouldn’t hurt.

    • dattebayo says:

      Wow, you are out of your mind. You wanna let go George Karl because you don’t understand his rotations? And you think playing Faried at his natural position is going small?

      The Nuggets don’t have a set rotation, because they don’t produce consistently in terms of scoring, defense and energy. Best example is Brewer who had 2, 27, 0 and 12 points in 4 consecutive games playing 20-30 minutes a game. Next to foul trouble and injuries, that makes it really inane to have a set rotation.

      Every time I see McGee it’s literally the good, the bad and the ugly. He makes a few great plays, but after every one of those, a few plays later he makes something incredibly dumb. He can’t be a starter playing that way and I also don’t think that Denver’s centers should even play 30+ minutes every game, because the pace is too high for that.

      Faried is an incredible rebounder, he hustles on defense and he is a big factor on offense, running hard in transition and hitting the boards for offensive rebounds. Everything he does makes more than up for the fact, that he can’t consistently make jumpshots and space the floor. He is only a sophomore, he will eventually work on his jumper over the summer.

    • dattebayo says:

      You questioned the rotations. There is a 3 guard rotation, so Miller and Lawson will play together on the floor, that’s not avoidable without a solid backup SG that can create plays and that’s blatantly evident. You’d rather that Hamilton or Brewer play more minutes at the 2?

      You questioned why McGee gets benched at times. He is very inconsistent and you can’t play him 20 consecutive minutes because he suffers from asthma and because the pace is too high for bigs.

      You claimed Karl loves going small with Faried and complained about him not being able to shoot jumpers. 90% of Faried minutes are at the 4 with a center next to him and as I said, Faried does so many things, that excuses his missing midrange game.

      You questioned the coach for his basketball decisions, claiming he plays favorites. George Karl is a HoF coach, he doesn’t play favorites, but he has to manage minutes, injuries and he doesn’t get consistent contributions from his players, so he has to adjust with what he thinks is best in many games. Don’t think you know better on who to play for how many minutes, because you don’t.

      • googergieger says:

        What on earth are you talking about? Either Miller or Lawson out there with Iguodala or Brewer or Hamilton at any given time. Both shouldn’t be on the court at the same time and that is easily possible.

        McGee is inconsistent? So is everyone else on the team. I never asked for 20 minutes straight for McGee. No reason he should ever get less than twenty minutes a game though. Six minutes to close and start quarters wouldn’t be bad. At the very least playing him when he is playing great makes sense and benching him when he is playing bad makes sense. I mean what is the point of having a deep roster if you never play the hot hand and always play the same people the most minutes regardless of play?

        Either you are ignoring what I am saying or are making up arguments to argue against. To close at least five games this season Karl has gone with Faried and Gallo at the four/five. What is the point of this? Especially when you have Ty, Miller, Iguodala, Gallo, and Faried out there. How does that stretch the floor or help us on defense? I have no problem with Faried’s short comings as I’m a big fan, but no reason for him to play the four or five with Gallo as the four or five.

        How can you argue against him playing favorites? Koufos had four horrible games in a row and still got more minutes than McGee. Miller and Lawson together are a proven failure of a line up. It is a fact at this point and Karl still goes with it to give Miller his minutes.

        Either come back with legitimate arguments as to why the man is untouchable as a coach or sod off.

    • dattebayo says:

      We could probably have a great conversation about the Nuggets. I didn’t mean everything literally, I just don’t agree with all the things you said. I really like Denver and what I wrote is just my perception of the games I watched. I haven’t seen every Denver game (probably only 20), maybe I haven’t picked up everything you said.

      When they played Miami, Miami went small with 3 guards and 2 forwards to close out the game. All are playmakers, scorers and decent to great defenders. That’s a game when Karl went small with Gallo and Faried at the 4 and 5 and that made perfect sense to me. Neither Koufos nor McGee nor Mozgov are good freethrow shooters and neither one of them has the ability to consistently score out of the post. With Chris Bosh being a midrange threat, I’d rather have Faried or Gallo guard him, because they can move their feet and defend the drive without fouling and both have the length to contest his shot. I thought the lineup was effective and if Ray Allen doesn’t make that three, the Heat lose.
      If you think the lineup is a bad choice in general, in which games did it hurt Denver?

      In the last game in L.A., McGee had one goaltending and in the middle of the 2nd quarter around 6:45, he traveled for no apparent reason after trailing the play. That’s 2 bad plays I can think of but otherwise he had a good game and got rewarded, he finished the game and ended up playing 27 minutes. He probably couldn’t play the entire 4th quarter, which is why he got a breather and got back in a few minutes later. In general, McGee could be a much better player and play more minutes, but he makes so many dumb plays at times, that you can’t really trust him just yet. It’s nothing major, just a sum of all the little things he could easily avoid. Things like fouling jumpshooters, jumping at pumpfakes or reaching in instead of contesting shots. He also tends to get too excited and then these plays happen, when he tries to lead the fastbreak throwing the ball away, knocking over Lawson.
      In which games was he benched despite playing really well?

      To the Lawson Miller combo. You are right that Miller and Lawson together can be a liability on defense, given certain match ups. That’s probably why you see Brewer at the 2 at times (like they did late against Miami). The coach plays it this way and that’s his rotation, most coaches like to have at least 2 playmakers in the game because that is the latest fashion along with playing small nowadays. It doesn’t force somebody to be the sole playmaker and the ball moves a lot more on offense.
      Now all you did, is claim that it’s a proven failure for Denver, that Andre Miller shouldn’t play as many minutes and that Karl is playing favorites with him. That’s not a fact but your own opinion, an opinion that you didn’t bother to back up with any kind of numbers or facts. I am not a stats guru and I don’t know how to research your claim, but when I check basketball reference or the nba advanced stats website, I don’t see the team doing significantly worse when Miller is in the game. They are obviously worse at shooting the threeball, but not drastically. Several numbers increase with Miller on the floor, though, they rebound a little better, they score more efficiently, they get to the freethrow line more often, make more freethrows and the +/- goes up by 2.7 points with him on the floor. When I look at the last playoffs, almost every number is significantly improved with Miller on the floor, so I have to disagree with your statement.

  10. Jim says:

    Wow if this is true,talk about some knuckleheads in the nuggets locker room and I’m not refering just to McGee.