1. Faried gets a chance to show he’s still got some game
Kenneth Faried hadn’t made much of a fuss about being buried at the end of the bench for the Brooklyn Nets this season, other than a notable series of Instagram likes calling for him to get more playing time — including one that referred to teammate Jared Dudley as a “bum.”
Coach Kenny Atkinson had told the New York Post on Thursday that Faried has been working hard and deserved an opportunity to play. By resting Ed Davis Saturday, Faried got his opportunity and he capitalized.
Playing the backup 5 behind Jarrett Allen, Faried played 27 minutes and scored 21 points with 10 rebounds, hitting 8-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the line. He attempted one 3-pointer — his first attempt since Dec. 4, 2017, but missed it.
That lack of shooting range is what rendered Faried a forgotten man over the last two seasons, last year with the Denver Nuggets and this season since coming to Brooklyn in a July trade.
Saturday’s game may or may not have been an opportunity for Faried to audition for the other 29 NBA clubs who may be looking at adding a big man down the stretch, but if the Nets were looking to show that Faried still has some value, it worked.
The 27 minutes were more than half of what he had played through the season’s first 36 games, appearing in nine and getting 50 minutes total prior to Saturday.
The big performance Saturday leaves Faried averaging 4.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per game on 67.9 percent shooting from the floor and 8-of-14 work at the foul line.
Faried’s stock has fallen a long way since 2014, when he was a starter for USA Basketball at the FIBA World Cup and signed a four-year, $50 million extension with the Nuggets.
Saturday’s showing against Milwaukee might be a step toward rebuilding that value, either for the Nets or another team to be named later.