The Denver Nuggets are looking up after their rough 3 or so years. As of late the Nuggets seemed to be going downhill and many fans believe the team is headed into the lottery for the foreseeable future. If you’re one of those fans please take some time to read my last two articles regarding the Nuggets Can Emmanuel Mudiay bring relevancy back to Denver? and Nuggets’ Mudiay & Nurkic Combo Next “BIG” Thing?. In my time as a Nuggets fan I realized a couple of key lessons as an NBA fan. If your team has a star it doesn’t assure you will win a ring let alone reach the finals. Your team will only go as far as its best player takes them. Regular season wins do not mean anything when it comes to the playoffs, I mean ask the Hawks. When Carmelo Anthony sported the powder blue and gold I was excited to have such a lethal offensive weapon on our squad, heck I believed it every training camp when he claimed he would focus on defense and become a much better all-around player.
Then came Ty Lawson, he played his first season behind Chauncy Billups who he recently took shots at on twitter for voicing his professional opinion on the young speedy point guard. Yes Lawson is a tremendous talent but he somehow always finds his way into trouble. When your best player is 5″11 and is an average shooter with horrible off-court tendencies. I don’t think I need to remind our readers of the multiple arrests for the DUIs. I’m not saying that Lawson is a bad person or a bad player either. He’s a great floor general and he is definitely one of the most talented little men in the league.
And, the Nuggets best player and leader baton gets passed to Jusuf Nurkic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Wilson Chandler? No, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari. Gallo is looking like his former self before the ACL injury according to Kevin Pelton of ESPN. Kenneth Faried on the other hand needs to channel his inner leader (if it exists) and light a fire under these young Nuggets. If the Nuggets want to keep The Manimal and want him to play to his full potential they need to assure to him that he won’t be traded. It is obvious that Faried’s game feeds off of his emotions and he is an extremely productive player when he feels like the organization believes in him.
Before the All Star Game Kenneth Faried was averaging 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game which are not bad averages but after the trade deadline Faried’s numbers have seen noticeable changes the past two season, jumping to 14.3 PPG 9.2 RPG. At this point we should all come to realize that this is not a coincidence and more of a pattern. Faried obviously enjoys playing in Denver and if Kroenoke and Connelly are truthful when they say they want to start a new culture in the organization by retaining players who enjoy being in Denver, they would do all they can to keep The Manimal happy. This team will be relying heavily on his and Danilo Gallinari’s constancy.