Denver Nuggets Defeat Dallas Mavericks, Kenneth Faried Dominates

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried doesn’t make the headlines all that often because he’s a low key player who plays on an NBA team that rarely gets noticed. Faried should receive a few mentions tonight because of the incredible performance that he put up against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. According to ESPN, the fourth-year player scored 25 points and pulled down a whopping 20 rebounds. Without that contribution, the Nuggets might not have gotten past the Mavericks.

For the season, Kenneth Faried has averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks per game, which is pretty much on par with what he has done throughout his career in the NBA. His consistency is one of the reasons why there’s at least one general manager in the National Basketball Association that has contacted the Denver Nuggets to check on his availability. On Sunday, Faried decided to double his production against the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki Dirk Nowitzki [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]There were actually talks that the Dallas Mavericks were interested in acquiring Kenneth Faried from the Denver Nuggets before the NBA trade deadline last month. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle wanted more depth in the front court because the NBA Playoffs are right around the corner. Since a deal could not be made for Faried, Dallas opted to go with David Lee, who was bought out by the Boston Celtics because their front court was loaded.

Another reason why the Denver Nuggets were able to beat the Dallas Mavericks was because of the superb play of Will Barton. The backup small forward scored 20 points on a very efficient 50 percent shooting. Barton was also able to get to the free throw line, where he made six of seven shots. When you’re able to secure more than 30 minutes a game off the bench, that means that you have the trust of your head coach. Mike Malone definitely trusts Barton.

Nuggets forward Will Barton Will Barton [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]The Denver Nuggets also received a good amount of contributions from the rotation. Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, and DJ Augustin all reached double figures in points. Any time an NBA team can get that type of offensive production from six players, then it makes it really difficult for the opponent to defend. Augustin, who the Nuggets recently acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder, hit some clutch shots at the end. The Dallas Mavericks are a solid defensive team, but they simply could not stop the shot distribution.

Dirk Nowitzki was his usual self, proving to the NBA that you can still be productive at an older age. The German native scored 30 points and pulled down six rebounds. Nowitzki shot better than 50 percent and was especially dangerous from beyond the three-point line. When Dirk plays as well as he did against the Denver Nuggets, then the Mavericks are usually really hard to defeat, so kudos to Mike Malone for having his guys ready to play.

Mavericks forward David Lee David Lee [Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, and Chandler Parsons tried to help Dirk Nowitzki out. The trio all had double figure scoring and combined for 40 points, which wasn’t enough against the Denver Nuggets. Parsons also chipped in with 11 rebounds and five assists, many of which came from him playing point forward. Williams and Matthews combined for five steals, which enabled the Dallas Mavericks to keep the game close.

JJ Barea and David Lee provided some really good support from the bench. Lee was signed for their upcoming run in the NBA Playoffs, and he’s now worked his way into the rotation as the top backup big man behind Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia. Eighteen points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks are tremendous for a backup player. Barea contributed 15 points and four assists, while being a pest to the defense.

[Featured Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]