The Denver Nuggets spent several years under George Karl focused on pushing the basketball up and down the court, while dictating the pace to their opposition.
Karl is now an ESPN analyst, and former Pacers assistant Brian Shaw now has the reigns in Denver.
Shaw was influential in a lot of the success the Pacers have had in recent years and he’s brought the same rugged approach with him to Denver.
According to the Denver Post, Shaw has made it clear that the Nuggets will play his brand of “smashmouth basketball.”
“Smashmouth means that you are literally going to get your mouth smashed if you’re going against us for a rebound or a loose ball,” Shaw said. “We want to have a nasty disposition, both offensively and defensively.”
Shaw intends to continue to utilize the Denver altitude, and will run when it makes sense for his team.
“The style of play … is going to be a little different than what it has been around here for the past few years,” Shaw said. “We do still want to take advantage of getting up and down the floor and take advantage of the climate and the altitude. But, with that being said, the teams I’ve been associated both as a player and as a coach have had success establishing a presence inside, executing in half court and having a defensive identity, as well as being a good rebounding team.”