Nuggets land Pacers assistant Brian Shaw as new head coach
After seeing candidates like Doc Rivers and Jason Kidd find new head coaching jobs, the Nuggets were finally able to lock up one of the top names on the market. According to the Denver Post, Brian Shaw will be the next head coach of the Denver Nuggets.
Shaw has served as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers for the past two seasons, and has developed a reputation as one of the top assistants in the NBA. Part of that reputation is a result of the praise he received from Phil Jackson during his time with the Lakers. Shaw was an assistant under Jackson from 2004-2011.
As one of the top head coaching candidates on the market, Shaw was rumored to have been in contact with the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, and Boston Celtics in addition to the Nuggets.
It will be interesting to see how Shaw's presence affects the Nuggets' style of play. The Nuggets scored the most points in the NBA last season and fired up the second most shots - they are a very uptempo team that likes to push the pace. The Pacers, however, were a very slow-pace, half-court oriented team while Shaw was on the sidelines. Much of that may have to do with the Pacers' personnel, as it would be unwise to run an uptempo system with Roy Hibbert and David West as two of your most important players. We'll have to see if Shaw attempts to implement the system he saw work well in Indiana, or if he decides to adapt to the personnel he currently has in Denver.
Shaw will inherit a young, very talented roster, so expectations will be high right out of the gate. The Nuggets finished last season as the third seed in the Western Conference, and many of their core players (Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and JaVale McGee) have yet to turn 26 years old, meaning they likely have yet to hit their prime.
Now that Shaw has signed on with the Nuggets, the top coaches on the market include names like Lionel Hollins, George Karl, and Vinny Del Negro. The only teams with head coaching vacancies are the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.