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Kenneth Faried Could Have Breakout Season at Denver

Kenneth Faried will be one of the key players for the NBA Northwest Division Denver Nuggets during the 2014-15 season.

The athletic forward is currently playing with Team USA as they prepare to play in the FIBA World Cup at the end of August in Spain.

Faried started to show his strengths on the court for Denver during the second half of last season. Following the All-Star Break, Faried averaged 18.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

During that same stretch, he hit 54.6% of his shots from the field

During the season’s final 11 games, Faried bumped his scoring average up to 20.5 points and rebounding to 12.2 per game.

It took Faried over half the season to become accustomed to the game plan and philosophy of coach Brain Shaw.

Faried spent too much time during the first half of last season shooting mid range jumpers that hindered the Nuggets offense. Faried, when he strays too far from the hoop, is not that effective.

The strong forward hit 69% of his shots near the rim, but that fell to 42% from between 3 and 10 feet.

Going even further away from the net, Faried hit just 39% of his shots from 16 to 23 feet.

He struggled early in Shaw’s system since he never had developed a strong mid range jumper or post game. Many thought Faried would never fit into the system Shaw has set up.

Faried, many said, was more suited to the George Karl run and gun system.

However, over the final half of the season, Faried showed great improvement within Shaw’s system.

Shaw himself even prais

ed the play of the long-haired product of Morehead State. Shaw said Faried was playing with a great deal of confidence, was rebounding well on the defense while pushing and starting the break for the team.

Faried has been able to run the court before the opposition set up their defense. He receives the ball in those situations closer to the rim and is difficult to stop in the paint area.

After accepting that the run and gun format would not work under Shaw, Faried consciously went to work and became one of the strongest post players on the team and a true threat down low for Denver.

One good example of how successful he became down low was his trips to the free throw line nearly doubled from just fewer than 3 per game to 5 per game.

He also increased his playing time from just less than 25 minutes per game to over 31 minutes per game during the season half.

This fall Shaw returns to coach the Nuggets and Faried knows where his strengths lie on the court and in Shaw’s system. That should help him have a better season from the start and help the Nuggets to return to the playoff team they were during the 2012-13 season.

In the meantime, Faried will try to help his teammates win the FIBA World Cup in Spain against the best international stars on the world later this month.


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