The Manimal marches on for Denver Nuggets
Power forward Kenneth Faried enjoying productive month
The March of the Manimal continues.
Crashing the boards, converting around the rim and even leading the fast break, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career.
In 11 games this month, Faried is averaging 20.9 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting .615 from the field. The points have come in a variety of ways, including putbacks, transition dunks and baby hooks in the low post.
“Just playing my game, not stressed,” Faried said. “Just having fun out there enjoying basketball.”
You know it’s a good month when a 15-point, eight-rebound night is considered a quiet game. Those are the numbers Faried put up against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
Faried also frustrated Detroit forward Josh Smith with his hustle and effectiveness inside. The two exchanged words while running down the court after Faried converted inside. Both were whistled for technical fouls, and Smith was ejected when he continued to badger the official.
For his part, Faried stopped talking after the technical. His overall play is speaking volumes.
“He’s just playing with a lot of confidence,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “He has been rebounding the ball well on the defensive end and really pushing and igniting the break for us.
“He’s getting down the floor before the other team’s defense can set and our guys are doing a good job getting the ball into him inside and he’s just turning and scoring on everybody inside. You want to get the ball in his hands as much as possible.”
Now nearly the end of his third NBA season, Faried is happy to shoulder the responsibility.
“I aspire to be great,” he said. “I want to be somebody that people look up to and say, Hey, you model your game after Kenneth Faried.”
If he continues to march along like this, that moment might come sooner than later.