The cuts are in for Coach Krzyzewski’s Team USA world championship roster, and as expected, Denver Nuggets star forward Kenneth Faried made the roster with no issues.
Faried will be an integral part of the team’s quest for gold in the FIBA World Championship tournament in Spain, and he’s joined by guards Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, Rudy Gay, and forwards/centers Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond and Mason Plumlee.
With the only cuts on the roster going to guards, Faried will have plenty of competition for playing time. Most likely he’ll continue to start because he’s the only true power forward out of himself, Davis, Cousins, Drummond, and Plumlee but Coach K is likely to spread those minutes around all of Team USA’s bigs. Team USA’s biggest threat to winning the whole thing comes via Spain, and it looks like Coach K will keep the his frontcourt rested to battle against the Gasol brothers.
Faried will be expected to battle against more than Pau Gasol though, and it’s great for the Nuggets he’ll be using the summer practicing under great coaches and playing games against great players from around the world. He’s looked great so far – averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 15 minutes per game in the team’s three exhibition games. We get to see if he can continue that play when the games start counting on Aug. 30 against Finland.
So, the real test begins for the young forward. He’ll be representing the country for his first time, and so far he’s played more minutes than everyone but Kyrie Irving, so it looks like he’ll have a big role. With extra minutes comes extra responsibility, and if he can emerge as a leader for this team when fighting for gold it should translate to better leadership with the Nuggets too.
The Nuggets could use a true all-star while trying to return to the playoffs next season, and Faried continuing to play well at the World Championships will be the first step in the forward making his first all-star team. Faried and Team USA have one more exhibition game before the world championships, Aug. 26 against Slovenia.