Dreaming of Manimal

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.

  • Alex

    I think a lineup of Lawson, Afflalo, Galo, Faried, and Nene can be very dangerous and work great in late game situations as Ty would run the pick and roll with Faried and have AAA and Galo on the wings.

  • evan

    Great article.

    The dream means:

    Okay, The Lakers are in a lot of people’s mind considered the kings, While not the best team in the league, they you think of them you think of championship. But you also think of Superstars. A lot of them. Magic, Kareem, Wilt, Kobe, Shaq, Gasol, and now Bynum. You think of large market.. you think of domination, the daunting force, intimidating as a whole but because of the faces (the stars you recognize). … you know what I mean, I hope. Nonetheless, this team IS the NBA. It represents it the most, it has the largest fan base, and is the team to mold yours after. the team everyone wants to be.

    That being said, the dream is Faried coming in, out of nowhere, dunking on this image. This idea. This allstar glitz dominated NBA. Sparking the evolution of the NBA past a few players. I’ve heard the reason no one can dominate the way MJ did is because there is 6-10 MJs in the league now. (I don’t really agree with this but I can defiantly see where he was coming from) The point is there are a plethora of allstars in the league, a figure head teams create because they think they have to. But having an allstar doesn’t make you stand out anymore.

    Starting this year, phili, indiana, and our beloved nuggets, are the ones standing out. Granted it’s early and havent quite taken over yet but are still on the rise.

    Anyway, back to the point, Faried, is a great player. But he is a great TEAM player. He is a sublime staple to a TEAM, and in a TEAM can help out the most. He is(eh.. or will be) as good as anyone at the PF position, but not in the way we might think. In the context of a TEAM game he is incredible.

    So again, I think that a player like that… dunking on that team… Is you thinking Faried could be this player sparking a revolution in the NBA. Or at least push over the edge what Denver, Phili, and Indiana has started.

    As far as the cupcakes go, I think it’s because when you think of cupcakes, its impossible to think of just one. (this is a reach but bare with me) you think of a batch. This may have just represented any quantitative type of thing. Amt of dunks, amt of rebounds, numbers he puts up, idk. Maybe because he never has just one dunk, or one amazing play. Maybe because he isnt a full cake, maybe because he is a batch of isolated goodness, that if standing alone is very dissapointing, yet among others is amazing, often better then boring cake. Also Cupcakes are much more exciting. aka Faried.

    Btw, sorry for the really bad orginization may have to re-read it to understand it. I was just freeflow thinking as I typed. Dont feel like going back to organize it.

    XD

    • evan

      Almost forgot. Go Nuggets.

      PS: could have been in your sub-contious that it was recently someone’s birthday. Brewer?

  • KONY 12

    Hey this doesn’t have anything to do with basketball just trying to spread the word if anyone has free time type KONY 12 into YouTube watch the video and spread the word, help those in need.

    • evan

      Hey I really appreciate the concern and desire to help others, but basketball and this website is one of the few places I can go to get away from the horrors of the world such as this. So I’m just saying we’ll all find out about KONY eventually, let us have our sanity.

  • ryanvdonk

    faried has already shown the ability to create his own shot on a level better than griffin, both off the dribble and in the post, just needs more touches to gain consistency and confidence.

    george needs to show him some tape of shawn kemp. from the high post/outside the ability to make one move and use speed and jumping ability to finish at the rim vs bigger, slower guys is exactly what manimal has the ability to do. would also like to see that crafty baseline spin for reverse dunks in the post.

  • Kyle Obergfell

    The 21 teams that passed on Faried before he fell in to our laps are still sleeping.. but a rude awakening is coming….

  • al68

    El unico problema que le veo a faried es en defensa debido a su tamaño, porque en ataque me ha sorprendid enormemente por su facilidad para anotar y rebotear. Respecto a la inteligencia en el juego esta evolucionando muy rápido.

  • monimo

    Kenneth Faried has great energy, hustle and seems to be a totally positive person (making teammates better around him only with his attitude). He has a natural leadership and I look forward to what he will be in a few years. I hope the Nuggets will lock him up and never consider to have him in any trade discussions (even for superstars like Howard). Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDUlou6oTcM. Kenneth Faried
    will have a great great great NBA-career!

  • Ernie

    I’ll repost this Grantland article on rookies as well. Faried is on the list but what I found most interesting is how good a defender he has been. My unprofessional view was he was an average defender that cared more about rebounding, but apparently his numbers put him in the top 10% as a post defender. And he doesn’t foul much, which is unusual in a rookie.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7652549/the-nba-rookie-power-rankings-including-kyrie-irving-ricky-rubio-derrick-williams-more

  • Jim

    I thought that was a cool grantland article. Maybe it explains a little more why gk is finally playing him crunch time minutes. Has he ever played a rookie minutes like this? I’d be happy with 15-20 but 30-35 has been more common lately. Let alone overcoming gk’s rookie, uh, bias, it’s been an awesome development. I know necessity is the mother of invention and we had to play manimal, but the output has been better than I expected.

    Great idea about Shawn kemp video. I’m dreaming of 15-15 a night for a long time. And not thinking about K-mart every time a game gets tight will be nice too.

    • Ernie

      Yes, but GK takes Faried out on defense late in games coming off a timeout. And this shows that might be a mistake. GK still leaves in Miller on defense which is more insane.

      • jim

        true…i think the whole unnatural dependency on dre gk has is it’s own topic, as well as the small ball/weird rotation thing gk keeps tinkering with. two separate, maybe related things. my hope is also that manimal’s play will change or at least add new rotations we haven’t seen as much through ASG break.

        in some ways, big al is a bigger clog than dre, even though dre’s poor defense play stands out more.

        i’d be excited to see more ty, with gallo, manimal, nene, and k2. gallo at the 2. shit, gk has had him on cp3, so, as one of our better defenders, why not? if that is not working, isn’t that why we have cbrew? jstone, big al, timo are next. add chandler, man, i don’t know. we need a fifth quarter to play everybody.

  • John

    I think it just means Jeremy likes cupcakes as much as Faried likes to dunk offensive rebounds.

    One compliment for Faried, the Kings were double teaming him on the offensive end just to keep him off the boards. That is respect.

  • eddi0

    With the way Faried has developed and the way Karl obviously trusts him with ample minutes…why not trade Nene in the offseason? Faried has been starting and we have won 4 in a row and there are several teams who might take on Nene (and his massive salary). I can think of about 4-5 players on the Rockets roster I’d love to see in the Powder Blue. Thoughts?

    • Ryan

      I would trade Nene and Miller just to get rid of the overall sense of apathy they exude when they play. Both are skilled players, but both could care less about winning/being the best they can be. As long as someone cuts the check, they’re happy