Kenneth Faried in some ways symbolized the Denver Nuggets last season — athletic and with boundless energy to outwork his opponents, improving but still a bit raw and figuring out how to really play the game.
Faried’s ability to bring that same energy at the start of this new season could have been compromised — he suffered a strained right hamstring Thursday, reports Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post. As of now Faried is day-to-day with another evaluation to come on Friday.
Behind Faried on the depth chart is J.J. Hickson and this is an opportunity for him to shine — he may even be able to pass Faried on the depth chart. It wouldn’t be a popular move with the fan base (based on what I’ve read) but there is some real logic to it.
It’s pretty simple math as to why Shaw has to think about it — with Andre Iguodala gone (now in Golden State) and Danilo Gallinari not expected back until mid-season, the Nuggets need scoring. Faried gets some hustle buckets around the rim, but Hickson is by far the more polished offensive player. And as Brian Shaw needs points he could turn to Hickson as an answer — Hickson has started the last two preseason games. Just something to watch.