Kenneth Faried has had a rough start to the season, something that Nuggets coach Brian Shaw chalks up to inconsistent energy and play on the part of the forward, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. “It’s really hard to say,” Shaw said. “Obviously, he’s disappointed in the way he’s played up to this point. There hasn’t been a level of consistency. One of the things that I try to remind him all the time is what made him, got him to this level, got him paid recently, is the fact that he’s always brought energy and always rebounded the ball. When you look at his stats up to this point, is the energy always there? I wouldn’t say that it consistently has been. But even before that, is he rebounding the ball the way he is known for rebounding the ball? He’s not doing that either. So no matter what happens, you get back to the basics of what got you here. And I think that’s what he has to do.”
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Shaw also relayed that Faried’s four-year, $50MM extension that the player signed back in October may also be a factor in Faried’s struggles, Dempsey adds. “He’s [Faried] been a little bit beat-up and a little bit sore,” Shaw said. “But what comes when you have the kind of summer that he had, and you get paid for that, there’s a certain responsibility and expectation that go along with that, too. And there’s an adjustment period. Now there’s other guys around the league that maybe think that ‘If I was playing maybe he wouldn’t be on the US team’ or ‘If he’s making this much money, let me show him what I’m worth.’ And that’s all part of it, too. Now, you become the hunted instead of the hunter, and you have to adjust for that and brace for that.“
- Wolves center Nikola Pekovic aggravated his injured ankle while running as a part of his rehab and will most likely be out another month, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune reports (Twitter link). Injured point guard Ricky Rubio is also unlikely to make his return to action until January, Zgoda adds.
- Pekovic’s coach Flip Saunders hinted at the possibility that the big man could see a stint in the NBA D-League prior to returning to action for the Wolves, Andy Greder of The Saint Paul Pioneer Press reports (Twitter link).