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Brian Shaw leaning toward starting Hickson over Faried opening night

Oct 29, 2013, 12:44 AM EDT

Kenneth Faried AP

If you wondered why reports had surfaced that Denver was shopping around Kenneth Faried, here’s a hint as to why.

Nuggets’ coach Brian Shaw is leaning toward starting J.J. Hickson over Kenneth Faried in the Nuggets opener Wednesday at Sacramento (via the Nuggets twitter account).

Part of that is that Faried is coming off a hamstring injury and they don’t want to rush him, but part of it is Shaw and the Nuggets are high on Hickson. Even when Faried is right Hickson may keep that starting job.

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Faried is a fan favorite because he is an Energizer Bunny on the court that is both athletic and never seems to quit, but he’s also raw offensively. Faried shot 61.6 percent in the restricted area but just 28.2 percent on the handful (less than one a game) midrange shots he took. Hickson is more polished, he’s an athletic and can finish at the rim (64 percent in the restricted area) but also has a good midrange game (47.3 percent last season). Neither are impressive defenders, but Faried is better on that end of the court because of his effort level.

Whatever Shaw is seeing in how Hickson flows with Ty Lawson, he likes what he sees. That makes Faried expendable (especially with him able to be extended next summer and a restricted free agent in two).

Just something to watch going forward.

  1. adamsjohn714 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Could my Nuggets get any more stupid? Faried needs to start, and he needs to get 40 mpg. The guy is a phenomenal rebounder. Hickson is good, but he’s not as good as Faried. Though part of me wants them to trade Faried so I can stop rooting for this moronic team.

  2. antistratfordian - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    LeBron James was very high on Hickson way back in 2010 – they were great together. Mike Brown didn’t think so and gave Hickson no burn in the playoffs. J.J. went from starting 73 games with 21 min a night on a 61 win team in the regular season to starting 0 games with 7 minutes a night in the playoffs. So if you’re wondering what happened to Cleveland in the playoffs that year… Mike Brown’s rotations happened (Lakers fans will feel me on this one).

    I’m a big Manimal fan though – I wouldn’t start Hickson over him.

    • stephenolszewski - Oct 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      Hickson now vs. Cleveland days is a different player, his defense was average, his post game isn’t what it is, and he had no motor when it came to rebounding like he does now. Mike Brown didn’t like Hickson because he took too many plays off. I’ve always liked JJ so glad he’s become a pretty good player in this league so far, even if everytime he runs he looks like so awkward

      • antistratfordian - Oct 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        ” and he had no motor when it came to rebounding like he does now”

        that is not even true. in any case, that doesn’t matter… whatever Hickson was doing then was working really well for the Cavs – and Mike Brown just shut him down once the 2nd season started. Obviously there were reports of this irritating LeBron, and it should have! No wonder the Cavs got stopped in the 2nd round.

        I’ve always liked JJ too.

  3. detectivejimmymcnulty - Oct 29, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    Too bad Miami doesn’t have the trade pieces to land Faried. He’d be a great fit.

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      Bosh and a 2nd rounder should do it. Tough to make salaries match, though.

      • ryanrockzzz - Oct 29, 2013 at 7:54 AM

        If you want to make Miami worse…please go right ahead =)

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        That would actually make them better…Younger, stronger on the glass (which is their weak spot). Unless you think a PF should actually be launching 20 footers all game.

      • casualcommenter - Oct 29, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        Yeah, it’s going to be funny when your team trades Faried away for just a late first rounder or a couple of second rounders.

  4. clevelandschronic2 - Oct 29, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Hickson has plenty of talent. The question has always been when or will he ever harness that talent. He needs to be more consistent. He also needs to get 15-20 ft jump shot. He plays with alot of energy so thats not a problem. All this from a cavs fan who watched him. I liked him alot, my problem was he was inconsistent to much but i attribute that to him being too young at the time.

  5. abchome - Oct 29, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    Hickson has been playing very well, at least against my favorite team. I always remember him getting 20/10 and outplaying my team’s all star/nba power forward. Just wonder why he didn’t get a much bigger contract. He’s absolutely a bargain for Denver, I beg Faried would ask twice per in his extension next year.

    • casualcommenter - Oct 29, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Hickson’s problem is that his defense is bad and he sometimes disappears on offense.

      When he’s locked in, he’s a versatile contributor on offense and a below-average defender. When he’s out of it, he’s invisible on offense and a terrible defender. In particular, he’s bad at providing help defense (which is an important role for a big man).

      That being said – he’s been signed to a very fair deal. Unlike other bigs, he didn’t get overpaid in free agency.

  6. saint1997 - Oct 29, 2013 at 5:01 AM

    I think Faried would look great in a Suns uniform paired with the athleticism of Bledsoe and Goodwin. Add in a polished 3 (Parker) and 5 in the draft and they’re looking strong

    • spursareold - Oct 29, 2013 at 9:53 AM

      Too much talent for a team that is “riggin for Wiggins”.

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