The Denver Nuggets, once one of the biggest disasters of the 2015 NBA season, have been playing a downright competent brand of basketball since old crankster Brian Shaw was jettisoned from the bench. They are 6-2 since firing Shaw, and last night they beat the Pelicans in double overtime despite catching a 36-point, 12-rebound, seven-assist, nine-block beatdown from Anthony Davis. Things are looking up in Denver! Watching the Nuggets is kind of fun again, and I can't wait to see what they do tonight against the Grizzlies!
Huh. Well, that's a bummer. Nuggets fans would surely like for the team to have its three best players active while taking on a tough Grizzlies squad. But, hey, it's a long-ass season and those guys went all out in double overtime last night, so if they want some rest, they deserve it—
That's about as clear as Dempsey can make it: this is management rushing in to throw a big bucket of cold water on the Nuggets because they are suddenly playing a little too well.
From an objective standpoint, this is the right move for a team that is well out of the playoff race and looking to claw its way toward a better draft pick. From the standpoint of sending a message to Nuggets fans who have stuck through this miserable season, it's a fairly obvious "tough shit."