The NBA is a game of stars. Long gone are the days of a collective team rising above to win a Championship, with no one player head-and-shoulders better than his teammates (the last team that comes to mind are the ’04 Pistons). To win in today’s NBA you need, at the very least, one legit Superstar. Miami has Lebron, the Lakers have Kobe, San Antonio has Duncan, so on and so forth. The past 5 NBA champions had at least one player that fits the mold of a “Superstar,” those players being Lebron, Dirk, Kobe, Pierce, and Duncan. The Nuggets have a player waiting in the wings to break out and become their Superstar, and that is the Manimal himself, Kenneth Faried.
Faried has already come out and told everyone that he has every intention of becoming a star, and the city of Denver would want nothing more than to have the Manimal be the face of the franchise for years to come. Faried has a game that every fan loves, he’s fast, athletic, can jump out of the building, and dunk on anyone. Those attributes do great in the regular season and sell tickets, but they do not win championships, which the true mark of a Superstar.
Inside the paint, Faried is nothing short of a monster. Despite his size he can out-rebound anyone this side of Kevin Love, and can make the tough shots and put-backs around the hoop. The area where he clearly struggles but needs in order to become a star: Shooting. From 10-16 feet, Faried’s FG% is .331, and from 16 feet out to the three point line, his FG% is .282. He’s yet to make a three-point shot. In order to succeed in the NBA as a star, you need a well-rounded offensive game, or else defenses will know exactly how to stop you. In this case, if a team wants to stop Faried, all they have to do is make him shoot and keep him out of the paint. If Faried can learn to improve his range, defenses will have an incredibly hard time at stopping the athletic freak that Faried is, simply because if you play too tight on him, he’ll blow right past you and do what he does best, and that is dunk the ball.
If Faried can pull his FG percentage from 10-16 feet up to at least .450, and his FG% from 16ft and out to a .400, the NBA will be looking at the league’s newest superstar: Kenneth Faried.