After losing seven straight games, first-year Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw was willing to try anything.
The experiment he eventually chose did not sit well with reserve point guard Andre Miller.
Why was Miller the one with the problem? Because Shaw dealt Miller the first healthy scratch of his 15-year NBA career.
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."
Clearly, the Nuggets are in dire need of some kind of spark, even more so now that Miller has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, as reported by the Nuggets' official Twitter feed:
This team has already peaked and plummeted. This roller coaster ride has featured a three-game losing streak, a three-game winning streak, a seven-game winning streak and now this eight-game slide.
Miller has been a part-time participant in these ups and downs. He had played in Denver's first 30 games, but his average floor time (19 minutes per game) was the lowest he'd seen at any point in his career.
Perhaps this outburst was the result of pent-up frustrations. Or maybe the fact that this NBA iron man was watching another lengthy consecutive games streak snapped by something other than a physical breakdown.
Miller had made 239 straight appearances before failing to hear his name called Wednesday during Denver's loss. In 2010, he had a then-league-leading streak of 632 games ended by a one-game suspension.
If there's one defining trait in his career, it has to be his longevity. He apparently felt that strength was being threatened and reacted how he saw fit:
Andre Miller has to be restrained on the Denver bench. Not sure if he was having words with coach or another player.— Bob Cooney (@BobCooney76) January 2, 2014
The method might not have been the best decision, but there may be something supporting Miller's case. After all, the stat sheet says his old-man game is a vital piece of Denver's attack:
Andre Miller not happy that he's been cut from rotation: http://t.co/6T97rfwE37 DEN is 11-5 when Miller plays 19+ min. 3-12 when he doesn't.— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 2, 2014
The blame game is a natural byproduct of a lengthy losing streak, but when the fingers start pointing his direction, Miller's clearly not going to take those criticisms sitting down.
Sitting down has never been a part of his basketball story.