Nuggets go through film study after OT loss in Las Vegas

Denver coach Brian Shaw seeks to eliminate simple mistakes
by Aaron Lopez

Nuggets coach Brian Shaw liked the effort. He wasn’t as pleased with the execution.

About 10 hours after touching down in Denver, Shaw put his players through a lengthy film session Sunday following a 118-110 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Among the points of emphasis:

Leave the ball alone. The Nuggets were called for delay of game four times for touching the ball after a made basket. The final three resulted in technical free throws for the Clippers.

Defensive awareness. Denver also was whistled twice for defensive 3-seconds, resulting in two more L.A. foul shots.

Take care of the ball. The Nuggets committed 23 turnovers, leading to 21 points for the Clippers.

Convert free throws. Denver went 19-for-30 from the foul line

“I liked our effort, but we’re not good enough to make the mistakes that we made, especially against a team of that caliber,” Shaw said. “We have five guys that are (injured). Some guys are taking advantage of their opportunity and others aren’t.”

The Nuggets played without guard Nate Robinson (strained hamstring) and forwards Darrell Arthur (bruised quad), Wilson Chandler (strained hamstring) and Kenneth Faried (strained hamstring). Forward Danilo Gallinari remains out indefinitely while recovering from a knee injury.

Chandler went through full practices Thursday and Friday and could make his preseason debut at home Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns.

“I didn’t want to take any chances,” Shaw said. “We got him to this point. Now we don’t play again until Wednesday. He has a few days to build up strength in that muscle. I would like to see him try to get in a rhythm in the last two preseason games.”

Denver’s depth was on display in Las Vegas. Despite being short-handed, the Nuggets nearly beat a Clippers team that played four of its five starters more than 30 minutes each.

Among the standouts for Denver were reserves Evan Fournier (16 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Anthony Randolph (16 points) and Andre Miller (15 points, seven assists, six rebounds), Quincy Miller (11 points) and Timofey Mozgov (11 points, five rebounds).

Andre Miller played nearly 36 minutes, including 26 in the second half and overtime.

“One thing about Andre, he’s a gamer,” Shaw said. “He, better than anybody on our team, knows how to play. I feel confident when he’s out on the floor. He gives our team a settling effect.”

Miller, 37, is one of only eight players in NBA history with at least 15,000 points and 7,500 assists, but he is not taking anything for granted. Entering his 15th NBA season, he is treating training camp as if he were a rookie auditioning for the first time.

“I’m out there working,” he said. “I just approach practice with the same habits and approach it like I’m fighting for a spot to play.”

With two preseason games remaining before the Oct. 30 season-opener, Miller’s younger teammates would be wise to do the same.

“I basically told the guys, I was proud of our bench scoring 71 points and coming in ready to play,” Shaw said. “When (the injured) guys get back, it’s going to be less minutes to go around. They need to take advantage of it while they can.”