Nov 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) passes the ball to guard Ty Lawson (3) during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets: Faried And Lawson Cement The Cornerstone

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In Wednesday’s win against the New Orleans Pelicans, Kenneth Faried proved to everyone he can shine under any NBA coach and in any NBA system.

Faried put up 34 points (most by a Nugget this season), added 13 rebounds, and also got three blocks. It is a stat line only Dan Issel, Alex English, Antonio McDyess and Carmelo Anthony have pulled off in a Nuggets uniform, and that’s pretty good company when it comes to the Nuggets. On top of it all, Faried only played 27 minutes, and in those minutes Faried became the first player in NBA history to put up 34 and 13 in 28 minutes or less.

I don’t think we’ll be hearing any Manimal trade murmurs coming out of Denver anymore. Not from fans, not from the front office, and not from the players themselves. Kenneth Faried is developing quickly under Shaw, and it’s just what the Nuggets need.

If you’ve been following the Denver Nuggets all season, we have seen flashes of a monster Kenneth Faried. I even wrote a piece praising his development earlier in the season. But last night should have quieted any chatter about him getting traded or not fitting in Denver.

Faried was labeled as George Karl‘s system player before this season in Denver.  It is a big relief to see the Nuggets’ young star rip that label off his chest in the second half of this season. He struggled a little earlier in the season adjusting to Brian Shaw’s coaching, but now it’s clear he’s going to be a major part of Shaw’s plan going forward, as his minutes have increased every month this season.

“It hasn’t surprised me,” Shaw told Nuggets.com. “He’s still a young player. We’re seeing him develop right before our eyes. You can just see him light up and start to grow and believe in himself.”

He’s here to stay, and if he can keep improving at this rate, the Nuggets are in a good place going forward. Combine a forward averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds (Faried’s average in the last 18 games) with an efficient point guard putting up 18 points and 9.0 assists a game (Ty Lawson) and…..

WE HAVE THE CORNERSTONE TO A CONTENDING FRANCHISE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

The dynamic duo is already the center of all Nuggets marketing, but this season they have shown they can be the center of a contending team as well. Lawson is currently second in the league in assists per game at 8.8, and Faried is showing flashes of a 20-10 player.

What’s a little crazy about this is Lawson is putting up those assists despite the Nuggets roster getting decimated by injury. Right now only five players in the league are averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. It remains to be seen if Faried can average that over 82 games, but doing it for 18 proves it’s possible.

It’s never fun to miss the playoffs, and I hope it’s something I never get used to. However, the stars are forming in Denver and it’s going to be very fun to see the way Lawson and Faried grow together for the remainder of this season and into the next few seasons.

According to Faried, this play is something he’s always worked to achieve.

“I always knew I could play at this level and really perform and get better each and every year,” he told Nuggets.com. “That’s what I did, and it shows as of late.”

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Tags: Brian Shaw Denver Nuggets Kenneth Faried Ty Lawson

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