Kenneth Faried's play in Spain familiar to Denver Nuggets
Assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas checks in from 2014 FIBA World Cup
Greetings again from Spain:
Kenneth Faried is raising some eyebrows with his play here in Spain. But his World Cup success comes as no surprise to me and anyone who’s around Kenneth on a regular basis.
He brings effort and energy every day, and it was amazing to watch how he energized our team against Turkey. His effort was infectious. It resonated through our team and helped us get our edge back in the fourth quarter.
Kenneth had 22 points against Turkey, but he doesn’t have to score to be effective.
He has been great on the offensive glass, giving us second chance opportunities, running the floor and defending. I expect him to continue to do the same as the tournament continues.
After back-to-back games, we were able to enjoy a day off. We had a team meeting and watched video. Some of the guys hit the weight room and went to the gym to get shots up. We have three games in a row coming up. We just have to continue to improve.
Our game against Turkey will serve us well. We were proud of how the team bounced back from a slow start and pulled away late in the game. Still, we have to bring energy right from the beginning and cannot lose battles on the glass. Energy level, rebounding and defensive pressure are absolutes in our game plan.
As we prepare to face New Zealand, our guys are focused on eliminating the mistakes we made against Turkey. We want to be aggressive from the opening tip. New Zealand is a tough team that will play with sense of urgency after losing their first two games.
On a personal note, I’m looking forward to my family joining us in Barcelona for the second phase of the tournament. As the games get tougher, we will need all the support we can get.
A longtime member of the Lithuanian national team, Arturas Karnisovas won Olympic bronze medals in 1992 and 1996 and captured silver at the 1995 European Championships. He joined USA Basketball as the international player personnel scout in 2013 and is entering his second season as the assistant general manager of the Denver Nuggets.