Kenneth Faried has proved his worth to Nuggets nation, but has not been able to show the rest of the world what he can really do. He was stuck on an average team, putting up good numbers but staying out of the spotlight. But this year, Kenneth Faried will make the All-star team. Here are three reasons why.
#1 Lighting it up on Team USA
This time of year isn’t the most exciting for basketball, due to the playoff race in the MLB and the start of the NFL season, but there is still plenty of exciting basketball going on. Team USA is still unbeaten in the FIBA World Cup. The main stories that are coming out of the tournament is how Derrick Rose is playing coming off of his injury, and how much Kenneth Faried is lighting it up.
Faried is the second highest scorer on the team, averaging 14.3 points a game and is leading the team in rebounds with 8.3 a game. He is also leading the tournament in field goal percentage, making eighty percent of his shots. His performance on the team is showing some of the NBA’s best that he has what it takes. DeMar DeRozan, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden all played in the all star game last year, and Faried is outperforming them all. He is showing the world that he can run the court, play great on the boards, and throw it down like a Manimal.
#2 Healthy Nuggets
The reason behind the Nuggets disappointing season last year was all of the injuries. Their starting small forward and center played a combined 4 games, so the team was obviously not going to play at its full potential. The good thing about last year is that it gave players like Timofey Mozgov the opportunity to emerge and show they can produce. It also gave leaders Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried the opportunity to step up and show what they can do.
Now that those injured players are back, along with the return of shooting guard Arron Afflalo, the heat will be taken off of Kenneth Faried and he can really perform. Instead of driving it into a bad situation in the key, he can pass it out to Arron Afflalo on the outside to hit the three, or drop it off to JaVale McGee inside for the slam. This talent on the team will give Faried the room he needs to put up the numbers of an All-Star. It will also get the team more attention throughout the NBA and show them how good #35 really is.
#3 Competition at the position
Five power forwards made the West All-Star roster last year, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis and Dirk Nowitzki. Faried finished the season with the eighth best player efficiency rating (PER) among power forwards at 19.9. Those five players were ranked above Faried. This leaves two players ahead of Faried in PER rankings. One is backup to Brandan Wright, who is back up to Nowitzki, and Tim Duncan. The competition is fierce in the Western Conference, but the way Faried has been getting better each year leads us to believe he will have a breakout year in 2014. But with Serge Ibaka returning from injury, and Tim Duncan always threat to play in the All-Star game, Faried will be shooting to knock down one of the guys that were on the team last year.
The two that are most likely to fall from the ranks are Anthony Davis and Dirk Nowitzki. The arrival of underrated center Omer Asik in New Orleans will likely take some of the numbers from Davis. It is a good addition to the team, but his numbers will likely suffer from it. Nowitzki is in the backside of his career, and the addition of Chandler Parsons will also take production away from him as an outside shooter.
The Manimal is showing the world what he can do right now, and when the NBA season starts again he will show them that he is an All-Star caliber player. Ty Lawson also might have an All-Star season and that would put the Nuggets back in the playoffs where they belong.