Faried is Denver Nuggets game changer

February 22nd, 2012
KennethFaried 300x219 Faried is Denver Nuggets game changer

Kenneth Faried Denver Nuggets

Faried is Denver Nuggets game changerWhen the Nuggets used the No. 22 pick of the 2011 draft on 6’8” and 230 pound Kenneth Faried, it was an intriguing selection. The forward out of Morehead State set the NCAA Division I modern-day rebounding record and was on his way to a team sorely in need of interior toughness. And toughness is just one of Faried’s game-changing assets …

As a member of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, (San Anotnio Spurs) Tim Duncan collected 1,570 career rebounds in his four seasons at the school. The 1996-97 campaign marked Duncan’s senior season where he set the rebounding mark (that has been tracked since 1973) that stood until Faried shattered it during his senior season (2010-11).

Faried’s new record sits at 1,673 and with the rarity of players staying four seasons in college; his record could last longer than the 14-year stretch of Duncan’s.

The Nuggets knew they were getting a fierce rebounder when they selected Faried and with so many questions facing the team heading into the current season, his role could have been a lot different. But the Nuggets were able to re-sign Nene Hilario and the emergence of Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos coupled with Chris Andersen and Al Harrington left Denver with a very crowded front-court. Two positions, just 96 minutes to divvy up, and five NBA battle tested players sitting in front of you on the depth chart … not exactly green pastures for the rookie.

Blessed with off-the-charts athleticism and a nose for the ball, it wasn’t going to be the hustle columns where Faried was lacking. His offensive game needs development, but he has been better than advertised. Faried has shown some moves in the post that have impressed and shown some maturity as he’s shooting 50% from the field. Sure, he hasn’t taken a lot of shots outside of the paint, but that’s where he should be playing. His free throw shooting has been decent for a young big man at 70.5% (24-34) on the season (an improvement over the 57.7% he shot in his final season at Morehead).

It took awhile for Karl to find consistent minutes for Faried, and it’s no secret that injuries to Danilo Gallinari, Nene, and Mozgov forced the Coach’s hand. Will Karl be able to put Faried back on the shelf once his team is healthy again? Through the first 21 games of the 2011-12 season, Faried appeared in just three games. Through 26 games, Faried appeared three more times for a total of six appearances. And over the last seven games, Faried has played in them all as he’s averaging 19.3 minutes per game and a bit of an anomaly from the Feb. 20th overtime Timberwolves game that I didn’t include where he logged a season-high 36 minutes.

Nuggets Nation should hope that Karl continues to find minutes for the exciting rookie. As we saw last night (Feb. 20th) Faried is just getting better and better as the season is wearing on and his energy and nose for the ball are difference making aspects of the game that he is using to stand-out.

You can purchase Nuggets Tickets for all home and away games. The next home game for the Denver Nuggets is against the Spurs on February 23rd. Spurs Vs Nuggets Tickets at the Pepsi Center are onsale now.

Recap: Nuggets at Pacers

February 13th, 2012

 Recap: Nuggets at Pacers

After what seemed to be an eternity, the Denver Nuggets finally break their five game losing streak by defeating the Indiana Pacers tonight 113-109. Led by a fantastic effort by Corey Brewer, Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo the Nuggets are back on the winning track.

There was a moment during the end of the first quarter where I thought the Nuggets run of futility would never end. The Nuggets called a time out and, upset about several non-calls on fouls and out of bounds plays, Guard Andre Miller slammed down the basketball in frustration. Garnering a technical. What happened, however, was the Nuggets proceeded from that moment on to re-ignite their will, their drive and their toughness and find that extra level of fortitude that they haven’t possessed since they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers at the beginning of February. Going from 13 down to tied the game at 60 going in to the second half.

Second and third stars of the game go to Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo. AAA is continuing his good play from the Golden State Warriors game. He ended the game with 23 points and 5 rebounds. More than that though, he hit a big shot in the closing minutes to expand the Nuggets lead to 4 which effectively ended the game right there. Also, he played respectable defense on Paul George and helped out on Granger. Keep this up AAA and people will start regaining their faith in you. Ty had himself a nice game and … GASP … drove the ball to the hoop against a stacked defensive interior. This proves it CAN be done folks!! Eureka! Ty finished the game with 27 points and 2 assists (the poor assist numbers show that Denver was shooting a high percentage on their jumpers tonight). Good for Ty. Keep doing that son, and the Nuggets will be just fine.

A couple sour notes. Nene Hilario left with a calf strain and seems to be out for a week. You get sick and tired of these injuries, and it makes it even more remarkable that the Nuggets managed to pull this one out with three starters injured and not playing. Al Harrington was stone cold for most of the night, and quite frankly looks like he could use a very long rest. He had 10 points (on 4-18 shooting). While he did do respectable work on defense (6 rebounds), at the end David West could get any shot he wanted (22 points on 10 of 11 shooting).

Aside from all that, Kosta Koufos again did good, competent center work and kept his rep up by steppin’ up against Roy Hibbert in tough duty with Nene out. K2 had 7 points and 7 rebounds. Hibbert finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds and was virtually a non-factor in this game.

Overall, it is such a relief to be rid of that god awful stench of losing. The Nuggets needed this, and quite frankly a panicky fan base needed this. Now the Nuggets can proceed to the next game, against the Phoenix Suns, with a little bit more swag yo. While it will again be tough with Nene out of the lineup, they key to remember is winning begets winning. The Nuggets needed to “remember” how to win games. Now that they have been reminded, the test is to keep the momentum up with a brutal stretch of basketball games coming up.

The Denver Nuggets return home to the Pepsi Center on February 14th to face the Phoenix Suns. You can purchase Suns Vs Nuggets Tickets today.  You can also purchase Spurs Vs Nuggets tickets for the Feb 23rd game.