The 2011 NBA Draft has concluded. At the end of the night, the Nuggets emerged as a clear winner in the proceedings. Denver now enters the pre-season period with two top tier draft picks on the roster without surrendering anything of value down the line.
Denver selected Kenneth Faried with their 22nd pick. Faried ranked among the ideal candidates for a spot on the Nuggets roster. Kenyon Martin will likely depart the Nuggets after this season. The Morehead State monster helps them fill this position and the voids in their team that resulted in five game downfall in the playofffs against the Thunder.
Kenneth has already wowed audiences at the Pepsi Center. He posted a 12 point, 17 rebound effort in the Eagles upset win over Louisville in the NCAA tournament. This performance landed Faried on the Denver radar.
Faried led the NCAA in rebounding this past season. He dominates the glass and has a natural ability to crash the boards. Farie dbelieves every rebound belongs to him and that proves to be the case fairly often. Faried snagged 14.5 boards per game in his senior year at Morehead State.
Oklahoma City dominated Denver on the glass in the playoffs, outrebounding the Nuggets in every game of the series. The Nuggets lacked the strong inside presence that boxes out and keeps people out of the lane. Faried brings a rebounding presence sinliar to Marcus Camby when he wore the powder blue and gold.
One of the iconic moments in Morehead State’s shocking win over the Cardinals, remembers Faried stuffing a last second buzzer beater attempt by Louisville’s Mike Marra. Faried ranks as one of the NCAA’s most prolific shot blockers of the last few years. Faried has averaged two rejections per game each of the last three seasons.
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant drove at will in the series against the Nuggets. Having a great shot blocker like Faried in the lane will make them think twice before entering the lane. Faried has the power to keep the other team out of the lane and block them when they try to take control of the inside.
Offense ranks as the main concern in Faried’s game. In that same win against the Cardinals, Kenneth shot just 4/17 from the field. Faried also struggles at the free throw line, shooting in the 50% range in all four college seasons.
However, Faried’s offensive game deceives those who have not seen him play. His numbers against Louisville look bad, but Louisville double and triple teamed Faried throughout the game.He still scored 12 points in the game and found a way to the free throw line.
While Faried lacks an outside game, with his back to the basket, Faried can score strongly. He led the Eagles with 17.4 points per game. Louisville ganged up on defensively. The Nuggets have enough scoring threats that Faried will rarely face multiple defenders and should score against the lax NBA defensives.
Faried hustles and bring a strong work ethic to the gym. He tallied nearly two steals per game in the 2010-2011 campaign. He will work hard on every play for the Nuggets. Faried ranks as a top 10 talent in this year’s draft class. He is the best rebounder and one of the best defenders in the class. Next time Westbrook and Durant try to drive the lane against Denver they will be forced to adjust their shot, thanks to Faried.
The excellent night continued for the Nuggets. They unloaded Raymond Felton and bettered their team in the process. With Ty Lawson showing signs of being an all-star poitn guard in the future, the Nuggets reacquired an excellent mentor for their leader of the future.
Andre Miller rejoins the Nuggets after a season in Portland. Miller averaged seven assists last season with Portland and scored more than 10 points per game. Miller will help better the team in the same way Chauncy Billups did with less playing time.
Miller played four strong seasons with the Nuggets from 03-07 before being traded for Allen Iverson. He passes fantasticly and adds to the Nuggets defense.
The Nuggets did not stop adding younger talent when they drafted Faried. They also snagged the Mavericks pick, Jordan Hamilton, the number 26 pick who also fell a lot further down the board than his talent warrented.
Jordan Hamilton led the Longhorns scoring rush this past season. He avaraged 18.6 points per game. Hamilton also crashes the glass, grabbing 7.7 boards per game. hamilton adds depth to the Nuggets already strong Small forward contingent of Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari.
The Nuggets have now built a strong team for the future with a combination of young talent and able veterans. The potential starting five of Nene, Faried, Chandler, Aaron Afflalo, and Lawson may not scare teams on paper, but will prove to be formidable offensively and defensively.
The Nuggets now run two deep strongly at every position and their depth could carry them on another deep playoff run in the upcoming season. Denver fans get excited. The Nuggets won draft night and will start winning once the season begins, thanks to the great moves they made.