Can Nuggets coach Michael Malone get the best out of Kenneth Faried?
The Denver Nuggets have started a new era with head coach Mike Malone taking over, and with Emmanuel Mudiay starting at point guard.
But even if the foundation of the team has changed, there are mainstays like Kenneth Faried who are still young enough to be a significant part of the future.
One of Malone's primary objectives will be getting Faried to reach the next level. Every offseason he appears destined for a breakout campaign, but that's yet to happen for the 5th year forward.
Here's more from Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk:
But for Malone, all things — including good transition basketball — starts with defense. You have to get stops and steals to run well, and the Nuggets were 26th in the league in defensive rating last season (105.5 points allowed per 100 possessions). In the first two Nuggets preseason games, that was the Nuggets focus (with mixed results).
Malone’s challenge starts with getting Kenneth Faried to buy in and play as hard on defense as he does on offense — something Faried has never done. Faried has been a defensive minus since he entered the NBA and that becomes one of Malone’s first major projects (even if it’s just to boost Faried’s trade value). Faried, who clashed with Shaw over his role, has said he’s felt energized under Malone, now the coach just has to steer that energy to the defensive end of the court.