January 18, 2016
As a rookie in 2011-12, Kenneth Faried earned a starting role on the playoff-bound Nuggets with his tremendous aptitude for rebounding and scoring around the rim on put backs and cuts. While Faried’s quick, explosive leaping ability and high motor enabled him to excel in those areas, his lack of a jump shot and poor defensive awareness presented clear opportunities for improvement. Just 8% of his field goal attempts came outside 10 feet, and the team was 6 points worse defensively per 100 possessions with Faried on the court.
Now in his 5th season, Faried still struggles with his jumper and defensive awareness. He still takes 90%+ of his shots inside 10 feet, making only 5 of his 26 jump shots thus far (19%). Moreover, the Nuggets are allowing 10 more points per 100 possessions with Faried on the court this year. Faried’s defensive issues are most noticeable against pick-and-rolls, where he rates in the 8th percentile against ball handlers and 13th percentile against roll men.
Player Development Scouting Report
This report focuses on how Faried can improve these areas of weakness. With respect to both jump shooting and pick-and-roll defense, the report begins with an examination of Faried’s issues and then identifies standout performers to demonstrate proper technique. By modeling his behavior after these standout performers and practicing their methods, Faried can develop his skills to become a more complete player.
- Jump Shot
Faried has a lot of lower body movement on his jumper. He does not catch the ball in shooting position and often seems to look everywhere but at the rim before starting his shooting motion. As a result, he has no consistent rhythm or form when shooting. Sometimes his feet are close together and sometimes far apart. Sometimes he’s moving forward, sometimes backward, and sometimes sideways. He also abbreviates his follow-through when guarded.
Compare to Kevin Garnett and David West. They square themselves to the basket and lock their eyes on the rim immediately upon the catch. Their lower bodies are always very calm and their form is exceptionally consistent, with their legs about shoulder distance apart and the right foot slightly in front of the left. When facing a strong closeout or when their feet aren’t set on the catch, they pass out and work for a better shot.
- Pick-&-Roll Defense
Faried has difficulty steering the ball handler away from the paint and also fails to recognize strengths and tendencies of screeners, resulting in many favorable scoring opportunities. He often misreads the situation and either takes a poor angle to the ball handler or neglects to block his path. When defending a screener known for his outside shooting proficiency, Faried does not recover quickly to the perimeter after showing on the ball handler.
Compare to Garnett. Garnett actively forces ball handlers toward the baseline through controlled hedging, and he denies high-percentage outside shots by identifying opponent preferences and gearing his defensive strategy toward taking away their strengths. When guarding a dangerous pick-and-pop threat like Omri Casspi, Channing Frye, or Chris Bosh, he keeps contact with the screener or immediately returns to him after impeding the ball handler’s path to the rim.
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