Posted January 02, 2014

Nuggets suspend Andre Miller after argument with coach Brian Shaw

Andre Miller, Ben Golliver, Brian Shaw, Denver Nuggets
(Bart Young/Getty Images)

Andre Miller is averaging just 19 minutes per game under coach Brian Shaw. (Bart Young/Getty Images)

The Nuggets announced Thursday that reserve point guard Andre Miller has been suspended for two games for conduct detrimental to the team. The 15-year veteran will not play when Denver hosts Memphis on Friday and when the Nuggets travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Sunday.

Miller, 37, was reportedly involved in a verbal exchange with first-year coach Brian Shaw during Denver’s 114-102 home loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday.

The Denver Post reports that Miller expressed his frustration with his first DNP-CD of the season.

Andre Miller, headed for his first healthy scratch, decided he would verbally take it out on coach Brian Shaw. Miller yelled about the disrespect he felt he was being shown by sitting. And if he was being disrespected, he’d do the same to the Nuggets’ first-year head coach.

“There’s a time and place for everything,” Shaw said. “In the middle of the arena in front of everyone … I just tried to calm it down.”

Asked if Miller understood the reasons for his one-game seat on the bench, Shaw said, “You’ll have to ask him.”

Shaw’s decision to bench Miller marked the first DNP-CD of Miller’s career. Long known as an ironman because he rarely misses a game due to injury, Miller’s absence on Wednesday was the first game he’s missed since December 2010, snapping his consecutive games played streak at 239. What’s more, the only other game Miller has missed since the 2002-03 season, prior to Wednesday, came on a one-game suspension by the NBA for a flagrant foul on Clippers forward Blake Griffin.

Denver’s loss to Philadelphia was its eighth consecutive defeat, and the Nuggets are currently 14-17, which puts them 5.5 games out of the playoff picture in the West.

Miller is averaging 5.9 points and 3.3 assists this season, both career-lows, and he’s playing just 19 minutes per game, marking the smallest role of his career. The NBA’s fourth-oldest active player — behind Steve Nash, Derek Fisher and Ray Allen — is on the books for $5 million this season and $4.6 million next year.

Shaw, 47, was hired by the Nuggets last summer after the organization parted ways with longtime coach George Karl.

4 comments
MrArlington
MrArlington

Hopefully the argument involved Miller telling Shaw the proper length that a tie should hang. Dude is wearing his tie in the above pic like a guy who just wore a tie for the first time.

PhillGroeneweg
PhillGroeneweg

I think that decisions that the management made in the previous off season (letting Coach Karl go) had has consequences.   I think that Iguodala and Brewer split because they let Karl go, in a very odd and disrespectful way.   I think the split among the team today, is partially due to that incident.   From what I can tell, the players do not like Shaw, and he is clearly doing a bad job.   Andre Miller is like a wallflower, so for him to get upset......

I think they should fire Shaw immediately, and I think the management should beg George Karl to come back, so we can salvage what is left of this season before it's a disaster.   Remember, all of the old players are accustomed to winning 50 games a year and making the playoffs.   Not making the playoffs is going to drive the likes of Lawson, Gallinari, and Faried away.

This team is still deep, but it's not built for a half court game.   It's not built to play how Shaw would like.   When he let them run, they won all those games.   When he slowed them down, they do nothing but lose.    He is stubbornly suppressing the running game, in favor of a slower more defensive game.   Yes, everybody would like the Nuggets to learn how to play in those slow games (which is how most playoff games can be) and play good defense, but he has to learn to how to slowly integrate it into the system.   Rather he is doing the opposite, so his coaching strategy is failing utterly.   Couple that with players disliking him and unnecessary drama, and I think it's clear this team is not the right fit for him.

Fire him, beg Karl to come back.....  Karl could take the pieces that this team has, and make them successful....at least in the regular season.    What difference does it make if we can play better defense, if we don't even make the playoffs?

TiredOfCliches
TiredOfCliches

What a shock!  The team wins 57 games, then Kroenke punts Karl and lets Ujiri walk away, and now they suck.  Ego can be a good thing in a player, but when the Team President thinks it's all about him and that he can keep things on track after firing the coach of the year and losing the exec of the year...it spells trouble for a long time to come.  Of course, Kroenke doesn't have to worry about losing his job...nepotism is a wonderful security blanket.


I think they might get 57 wins again...in the next season and a half.

TiredOfCliches
TiredOfCliches

@PhillGroenewegYou make a lot of good points, but there's absolutely no way Kroenke's ego could stomach asking Karl to come back.  Remember, it was Kroenke who was so sure that the team would continue doing well without George.


The two main problems I had with what Kroenke did:


1.  It was clear listening to him in the press conference following Karl's ouster that he felt very confident that the Nuggets could easily do as well or even better with another coach.  This smacks of either a complete disregard for what Karl brought to the table, or, even worse, an arrogance that the team's success was somehow due to Kroenke himself.


AND


2.  Brian Shaw?  To replace George Karl?  Karl, and I know he has a lot of detractors among Nuggets fans for his lack of playoff success, is still one of the 6 or 7 best NBA coaches around.  You don't can someone like Karl and replace him with a person who's never coached before.  If he'd replaced him with an established coach (Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, etc), it would have been understandable.

As long as Kroenke is there, it's going to be a rough ride I think...and Stan's not going anywhere.