Feb 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Evan Fournier (94) is fouled by Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas (22) as he drives to the basket during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets: Continuing to Stink Without Ty Lawson

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After Sunday night’s home loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Denver Nuggets are losers in seven of their last 10 games.

They’ve lost those seven games by an average of 22 points.

Sigh … it’s really bad, folks.

Seriously, the highlight of the Sacramento game is that we learned that in Jan Vesley the Nuggets may finally have a big who can set a decent screen.

That, and that Evan Fournier continues to show “real NBA scorer” potential with 27 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go along with five assists and four rebounds.

Boy, I find it pretty hard to be happy about the potential of players when the team is playing this bad though, and I’m not the only one. Brian Shaw was PISSED at his press conference after Friday’s 28-point loss to the Bulls.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s a nationally televised game that we’re professionals and as a staff we have to beg guys to give effort when they play,” Shaw said. “I’m going to play the guys who want to put forth the effort and want to play like professionals and go out and earn their paychecks.”

So, now we have confirmation from the coach that it’s going to be ugly, but it could mean we have a lot of time to evaluate Jan Vesley and Aaron Brooks before the end of the season.

Also, its good Shaw showed the competitive fire the players haven’t shown. Taking losing personally like that is the stuff can help a coach run a team and it’s a good sign this young coach isn’t afraid to put it out there when it’s called for.

Because the way the Nuggets are playing, it’s certainly called for.

It’s amazing to consider that this is the same season that this Nuggets team managed to beat the Warriors on the road and Clippers at the start of this month. Night and day between those games and what we are currently watching.

Assuming the Nuggets lose their last two games this month, at home against Portland and Brooklyn, they’ll have a .250 winning percentage in February.

The February Nuggets have just stunk in almost every way imaginable.

The Nuggets fell to 22nd-best in the league at rebounding in February compared with 12th before February (measured using rebounding percentage or the percentage of total rebounds the team grabs on average). In the only close loss against Phoenix, they gave the Suns so many offensive rebounds down the stretch it felt like the Suns had unlimited opportunities to score.

When Ty Lawson got hurt the Nuggets needed Wilson Chandler to step up his scoring and ideally his offensive statistics in general.

Well since Ty Lawson’s injury, Chandler is averaging four points less a game than he was before. His rebounding and assists numbers are also down slightly, so he did the opposite.

And I never thought I’d miss the .500 level basketball the Nuggets were playing before February so much.

Things should improve when Lawson’s ribs finally get to playing strength. It’s also good to see Aaron Brooks put together two solid games (a 17-point game followed by a nine-point, eight-assist game) in an offense he knows nothing about. Meaning that the games will at least be less ugly when both are playing.

But the Nuggets stink and Brian Shaw’s anger isn’t enough fire to turn it around any time soon. We may be in for a rough second half, Nuggets fans.

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Tags: Aaron Brooks Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets Evan Fournier Jan Vesley Ty Lawson Wilson Chandler

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