Kenneth Faried Says He Will Play in Game 2

by April 23, 2013

A sprained ankle forced Kenneth Faried to watch Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors from the bench. The Denver Nuggets forward says he feels well enough to suit up tonight. Per the Denver Post: “The power forward missed Denver’s Game 1 win because of an ankle injury, but is playing Tuesday. ‘There’s no ‘Will he?’ Faried said Monday afternoon. And sure enough, Faried’s expected rebounding dominance this April against Golden State is thanks to his ascension last April against Golden State. Denver had two consecutive meetings with the Warriors, and in the first, on April 7, 2012, the rookie had one point and four boards in a loss. ‘Everyone was saying how good (David Lee) did against me, how he outrebounded me and all of that stuff,’ Faried said last April of that game. ‘I just wanted to send a message that I’m better than what I portrayed last game.’ Two nights later, the 6-foot-8 Faried made history. He became the first player in the shot-clock era to tally 27 points and 17 rebounds in 25 minutes. He then notched double-digit rebound games in five of the final nine games, after tallying just seven up to that point. And he averaged exactly 10 rebounds a game in the playoffs against the Lakers. Monday after practice, Faried called that game ‘a confidence boost.’ Sure enough, he won’t be going up against Lee, whose series ended with a Game 1 torn hip flexor. But even when Lee played, Faried had his way on the boards — Kenneth averaged 36.8 minutes per game against the Warriors this season, his highest average against any team, while gobbling 11.3 boards, his second-most against any Western Conference opponent. ‘Those were tough games, all close games except for maybe one, so obviously we thought he was an important part to winning three of those four games,’ Nuggets coach George Karl said. ‘In Game 1 (Saturday), we lost the rebounding game (55-45), and that’s something we don’t like to do, and he’s a key to maybe recouping that stat. And he’s contagious. His enthusiasm is contagious. Having no fear is contagious. His competitive spirit is contagious.'”