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.
Kobe Bryant with spin move around LeBron James (VIDEO)
Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….
During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.
The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.
We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”
Kawhi Leonard drains game winner to beat Orlando (VIDEO)
This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.
And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.
Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.
Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers shoulder dislocation, leaves game
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.
INJURY UPDATE: @hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has suffered a dislocated right shoulder. #CHAatIND