KUSA - After setting a franchise record for wins and winning 38 games at home, there were plenty of expectations for the Denver Nuggets this season - even with a new coach.
But a number of injuries and a player uprising have Brian Shaw playing cheerleader just as much as the head coach.
Shaw's Nuggets are 25-30 going into Tuesday night' s game against Portland, and Denver is eight game behind the eighth-place team in the Western Conference for the final playoff spot. The Nuggets are jeopardy of missing the postseason for the first time in 11 seasons.
"I signed up for whatever comes with the job, and I can take it," Shaw said Monday after practice. "I've been through a ton of situations - situations that were worse than this. For me, it's trying to keep everyone positive and staying together in spite of injuries and other things and not make excuses about those things, but just come out give effort and play hard."
The 50-day Andre Miller standoff was solved last week when Denver made a couple of trades, which also helped with getting a true point guard.
In the middle of a three-game homestand, Shaw said some of the players might be pressing a bit to satisfy the fans, who saw Denver go 38-3 at the Pepsi Center last season and 57-25 overall before again losing in the first round of the playoffs.
"You can feel, when we're at home, some of the comments that the fans make. You can start to hear little things that are creeping in that people are saying. I can see guys putting pressure on themselves," Shaw said. "They want to better than what we're doing, but we're not. It's not working out for us. And so that part of it is tough, just trying to keep everybody's spirits up."