It is rare that I remember my dreams. When I was a kid I remembered my dreams all the time. I remember the one where I was asked to go to another planet and fight robots. I remember the one where I was in one of those plastic pools that are about a foot deep with Ginger from Gilligan’s Island. I really remember the one where I was at a friend’s house and had to go to the bathroom, but all the doors were locked so I relieved myself in the drain by the hot water heater only to wake up to find out that I missed the drain, but hit my bed.
I actually did remember my dream from a couple of nights ago because I was Kenneth Faried.
I was throwing down dunks on the Los Angeles Lakers left and right. The last play I made I leapt and hung in the air as Andrew Bynum jumped at me and sailed past. I then tossed the object I had in my hand gently into the center of the net. It was not a basketball, it was a cupcake.
What does it mean? I have no idea, but it sure seems like other N.B.A. players are cupcakes next to the Manimal.
Faried is taking the league by storm and validating all the yearning Nuggets fans felt deep within to see him on the court. People around the league are taking notice. Those numbers are correct. I noticed Faried’s team leading PER of 23.6 and decided it was high enough to see exactly where he ranked. He is ninth in the N.B.A. in PER and second behind only Kevin Love at power forward. That is right, he is ahead of Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol. His performance is more valuable than all of them. What is it that makes him so special? He rebounds at an incredibly high rate, second in the league in offensive rebound rate as is outlined in the link above and he is incredibly efficient.
You could point out the difference between Faried and those other big time power forward’s is that he needs his opportunities created for him. He cannot create his own shot. While it is true that Faried is not as crafty as Gasol or have the deadly fade away of Aldridge, his percentage of assisted hoops at the rim are on par with the other players mentioned above. While he may not get the ball on the block and make a fancy post move, he still generates plenty of his own offense in the form of offensive rebounds.
Faried continues to impress in new ways. Against the Sacramento Kings Faried pulled two new tricks out of his hat. One was hitting clutch free throws as he converted all six of his free throws in the final half of the fourth quarter and overtime. His two makes from the charity stripe in OT would have been the game winning points had Andre Miller’s layup not been taken away by an insipid charge call.
As important as his late night free throw shooting he did a fantastic impersonation of Kenyon Martin. George Karl was a great fan of Martin because he knew if Martin found himself covering a guard on a switch Martin would prove a worthy adversary thanks to his quickness and determination. After Faried blew an assignment on a pick and roll allowing a layup George Karl decided to change tactics and start switching on ball screens. This tactic required Faried to cover Tyreke Evans who was making a killing at the rim.
Faried, despite playing a career high in minutes on a back to back, dropped his hinny and played incredible defense preventing Evans from even sniffing the lane. After Evans was found wanting after entering the Manimal’s cage Sacramento started having DeMarcus Cousins set the screen so Evans could drive on Al Harrington.
Karl undoubtedly has some concerns about playing Faried in crunch time, but if he can hit his free throws and play the role of security blanket that K-Mart used to provide, Faried is going to end up on the court more often than not to close out games regardless of who is healthy.
I have a feeling that Faried is going to find himself in quite a few more dreams.
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