Nuggets plan to keep pushing pace under Brian Shaw

9-second shot clock among practice techniques Denver employing
by Aaron Lopez

After leading the NBA in scoring for the past four seasons, the Denver Nuggets have no intention of slowing down under first-year coach Brian Shaw.

Borrowing a technique from his time as an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, Shaw favors a full-court practice drill that calls for a 9-second shot clock.

Shaw wants his players to get in the habit of pushing the ball up the floor quickly to look for an opportunity before the defense can get settled.

“You can play any style but still be an uptempo team,” he said. “That whole nine-second mentality is just to get us in the mindset of not walking the ball up the court – ever. In the games, it should seem like we have an eternity with 24 seconds.”

The Pacers implemented the 9-second clock in an effort to jump-start their offense about a month into the 2012-13 season. They ranked last in the NBA in scoring (90.1) as late as Dec. 10 but finished 23rd (94.7).

“We were just trying to be creative in figuring out something to pick up the pace,” Shaw said. “We slowly started to climb.”

As the Nuggets familiarize themselves with Shaw’s offensive system, they should have an increased comfort level both in transition and in the half court.

“He doesn’t want us to slow down too much,” point guard Ty Lawson said. “When we do slow down, we just need to be able to perform at a high quality.”

With that in mind, Shaw has kept things simple during the first two weeks of training camp as he tries to install an offense based on passing and cutting.

“We’re not using Einstein’s theory of relativity when it comes to offensive sets,” he said. “They are the most basic sets in the game. These guys have been running them for years.”

Shaw and his staff still have five preseason games to add more details to the foundation, starting with Monday’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs.