Home / World News / Kenneth Faried keeps simple approach as role with Denver Nuggets fluctuates – The Denver Post

Kenneth Faried keeps simple approach as role with Denver Nuggets fluctuates – The Denver Post

Kenneth Faried was at the epicenter of the Denver Nuggets‘ strange week.

With all-star forward Paul Millsap sidelined with a serious wrist injury, Faried made his first start of the season last Monday in Sacramento. Two days later, Faried did not play during Denver’s blowout loss at Houston. Two days after that, he returned to the starting lineup in a win against the Memphis Grizzles and nearly notched a double-double (14 points, nine rebounds) in his best performance of the season.

It remains to be seen how Faried is used in the coming months, as the Nuggets continue to navigate without Millsap. But despite the fluctuating role, Faried’s approach has remained simple.

“It’s easy,” a tight-lipped Faried said. “I love playing the game. Coach calls my name, I check in and do my thing.”

It would make sense for coach Michael Malone to make Faried the primary starter at power forward during Millsap’s absence. Faried’s athleticism combined with standout center Nikola Jokic’s skill created a formidable frontcourt pair for one of the NBA’s most potent offenses last season. With Jokic often making plays near the top of the key, Faried consistently works down low near the basket. That also spaces the floor for teammates to get open shots while leaving Faried free to gobble up offensive rebounds.

“It allows our guys to operate where we don’t have five guys on the perimeter at all times,” Malone said. “It’s a good fit, and (Faried and Jokic) play off each other well.”

This is the latest twist during Faried’s inconsistent start to the season. The Millsap signing bumped Faried to a bench role, prompting pointed comments at media day about his desire start and that “there are 29 other teams if (Denver) doesn’t want, or respect me enough, to play me the minutes that I think I deserve.” He also did not play at Brooklyn or against Oklahoma City, and got fewer than 10 minutes in eight other contests. Two weeks ago in Portland, Malone said that at some point this season, he might need to take Faried or fellow reserve big man Mason Plumlee completely out of the rotation.

Malone recently pulled Faried into his office to relay that he understood Faried’s frustrations about the inconsistent playing time. But the coach appreciated Faried’s continued encouragement from the bench and his positive on- and off-the-court interactions with teammates.

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