Kenneth Faried is ready to unleash the ‘Manimal’ with the Brooklyn Nets. Can he bring back that powerful play in a Nets uniform?
In the interview, Faried expressed his readiness for the upcoming season and threw in the well-known Manimal playing style.
Faried spent seven seasons with the Denver Nuggets. In his first five seasons with Denver, Faried was one of the main guys on both ends of the floor. He got a lot of playing time and was fulltime starter, starting 331 of 348 games played.
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In those five seasons, Faried averaged 26.18 minutes, 12.1 points, and just under 9 rebounds per game.
His aggressive offensive play was noticed throughout the NBA. His play on the offensive end gifted him the nickname of “The Manimal” from fans. His play on the defensive end was solid as well. He was a strong frontcourt force who did a great job of defending post-up plays.
The most notable defensive asset Faried was known for was his blocks. Faried would swat shots into the stands or with great intensity, pumping up the crowd and his teammates.
On Oct. 4, 2014, the Denver Nuggets and Faried agreed on a five-year, $60 million extension locking the Manimal up till 2019. Once the deal was announced, many wondered if Faried was worth that much money.
Faried showed in the past he is worth a big contract and the new deal showed the Nuggets wanted Faried for years to come.
As everything was working for Faried, when the 2016-17 came around, his playing time began to drop tremendously. He dropped from 25.3 minutes per game in 2015-16 to 21.2 minutes per game. He would go on to start only 34 games and saw action in a total of 61 games.
To go along with his decreased court action came his production. Faried fell to 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. The reason his playing time was cut was due to his role and competition. Paul Millsap, Trey Lyles and Nikola Jokic were ahead of Faried in the roation.
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This would lead to Faried losing his starting job and becoming a role player coming off the bench. The power forward seemed to be frustrated coming off the bench, but was not upset due to a small cut in court action.
Last season was the roughest season of Faried’s NBA career. He played just 32 games and only started seven of them. The power forward averaged only 14.4 minutes, 5.9 points, and 4.8 rebounds per game. During the season, rumors started to swirl about Denver shopping Faried.
After a rough two seasons with Denver, Faried was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The deal would sent Faried, Darrell Arthur, a protected 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick to Brooklyn for Isaiah Whitehead.
The trade benefited both teams, with Denver cutting its luxury tax, while Brooklyn gained two frontcourt players and more draft picks.
This brings up back to our main point. With Faried now in a Brooklyn Nets uniform, can he bring back the Manimal?
Manimal returning in Brooklyn?
Kenneth Faried has a chance to bring back that Manimal play in Brooklyn. Can he bring it back? The answer will depend on one thing; playing time. Nets general manager Sean Marks has brought in a total of six new frontcourt players this offseason.
At power forward, Faried has some competition regarding a starting job and playing time. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson now has multiple players who can play the power forward position; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Rodions Kurucs, DeMarre Carroll, Ed Davis, and Faried.
Out of those options, Faried has a good chance of landing a starting job. Now, Atkinson is known to not stick with the same lineup for a long time. With that said, Faried is likely to start a good amount of games during the 2018-19 season.
If Faried can land that starting power forward job, he would have the keys to unleash the Manimal in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Nets biggest weakness last season was their frontcourt. Opposing teams would target down low, leading to points or foul trouble on Brooklyn’s end.
Faried can establish himself a power source down low if he gets enough playing time. He brings aggressive play on the offensive end and needed rebounding to the Nets. He is not known to be a shooting power forward and focuses his game down low.
That is what Atkinson needs out of him. His role will to be a force down low and work around Brooklyn’s guard play.
The guards like to pass the ball. In a pace-and-space offense, this will give Faried more touches and opportunities to make an impact.
Faried’s manimal impact will be felt more on the defensive end. Brooklyn needed a great frontcourt defender heading into the 2018 offseason. Now that Faried is a Net, he will have a big role on the defensive end.
Overall, Faried is capable of bringing his Manimal style of play to Brooklyn. He has the tools and is on the right team to do so. Expect Faried to bring back that Manimal style of play and a good season.
It’s also a contract year for Faried, who is set to earn $13,764,045 in the final year of the extension he signed in 2014, per Jeff Seigel of Early Bird Rights.