Denver Nuggets vs NBA: Ranking Kenneth Faried, the power forwards

USA TODAY Sports

One of the deepest positions in the NBA is the power forward spot. This is also a talent rich position for the Denver Nuggets with Kenneth Faried, J.J. Hickson, Darrell Arthur, and Anthony Randolph. See who makes our cut below ...

The point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards have been ranked - if you missed them, PGs here, SGs here, and SFs here. Andrew Feinstein, Colin Neilson, Jeff Morton, and I are figuring out where the team's projected starters of Ty Lawson, Randy Foye, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari (yes, he's hurt but we're still ranking him), Kenneth Faried, and JaVale McGee rank. A bench option or two might also make our lists.

Below we are breaking down the power forward position and where Kenneth Faried fits into the mix - J.J. Hickson is also eligible here. Faried saw his production rise across the board with the Nuggets last season as he became the full-time starter in George Karl's offense. The high energy man appeared in 80 games and put up 11.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in his second season.

The PF spot has become a very talent rich position and it's also a spot where guys like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have logged heavy minutes - along with Denver's Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Those four all were ranked at their natural small forward spot and you'll see how deep the position still is below. This season we also agreed to rank Tim Duncan (Tiago Splitter at center) and Kevin Garnett (Brook Lopez) here. The numbers in parenthesis to the right of a few players - that is where we had them ranked last season - some may have risen and some may have fallen.

Keys: (--) = stayed the same in rankings from last season and (C) is if we had the guy ranked at center last season.

NBA Power Forwards
Andy Colin Jeff Nate
1 Tim Duncan (C) Tim Duncan (C) Tim Duncan (C) Tim Duncan (C)
2 Kevin Love (1) Blake Griffin (7) LaMarcus Aldridge (3) Zach Randolph (4)
3 Zach Randolph (6) Dirk Nowitzki (2) Chris Bosh (4) Dirk Nowitzki (1)
4 LaMarcus Aldridge (3) Serge Ibaka (8) Kevin Love (8) Kevin Garnett (C)
5 Blake Griffin (2) Chris Bosh (4) Dirk Nowitzki (1) Blake Griffin (7)
6 Dirk Nowitzki (4) Paul Millsap (11) Blake Griffin (7) Chris Bosh (3)
7 Kevin Garnett (9) David West Zach Randolph (5) LaMarcus Aldridge (5)
8 David Lee (10) Kenneth Faried (12) Kenneth Faried (12) David West (18)
9 Chris Bosh (7) Zach Randolph (5) Serge Ibaka (--) Serge Ibaka (10)
10 Serge Ibaka (11) Kevin Garnett (6) Nene (13) Kevin Love (6)
11 David West Kevin Love (10) David Lee (14) Kenneth Faried (13)
12 Anthony Davis Carlos Boozer (13) Anthony Davis Paul Millsap (12)
13 Carlos Boozer (--) Anthony Davis Kevin Garnett (6) Greg Monroe (C)
14 Nene (17) J.J. Hickson David West (19) David Lee (17)
15 Paul Millsap (12) Nene (17) Ryan Anderson Ryan Anderson
16 Luis Scola (14) Carl Landry Paul Millsap (15) Anthony Davis
17 Ryan Anderson David Lee (14) Carl Landry J.J. Hickson
18 Kenneth Faried (20) Ryan Anderson Greg Monroe Carlos Boozer
19 Andrea Bargnani (16) Greg Monroe J.J. Hickson Nene (11)
20 Derrick Favors Andrea Bargnani (16) Ersan Ilyasova Ersan Ilyasova

Andy's Take: Even though we love "The Manimal" here in Denver his 11 points, 9 rebounds and shoddy defense barely qualifies him as a top-20 power forward. This season it will be fascinating to see how Faried responds to having two more power forwards - Hickson and Arthur - fighting for minutes alongside him.

Colin's Take: Ol' Duncanbot is starting to require more and more oiling of his servos. That doesn't change the fact that he is still one of the most gritty defenders in the league, has an almost un-defend-able 15-foot glass bank shot and simply fundamentalizes his way through lesser opponents. I really hated ranking Griffin as high as I did, but he is begrudgingly one of the most skilled players at his position, even over an aging Dirk and an offensively limited Ibaka. Faried and Hickson both deserve their top-15 ranking. They bring two of the best rebounding skill-sets in the league (if not only second to Reggie Evans) and are some of the best finishers at the rim. Their somewhat flawed defensive games and inconsistent jumpers keep them from higher spots. Oh, and before anyone asks why I ranked Kevin Love 12th, every single player above him has taken their team to the playoffs. I'll wait for Love to do the same before I put him any higher.

Jeff's Take: Kenneth Faried sneaks into the top 10 power forwards. He seems to be on the rise but is in serious need of one on one defensive improvement on top of some offensive improvement for his third season. J.J. Hickson is far down on my list because his defense is so bad. Needs a huge improvement there to move up the list. Tim Duncan is #1 ... any questions?

Nate's Take: I believe in stats and their place in the game of hoops. That said, I cannot quantify the exact effect that Faried's determination has on a game - other than to say he changes the whole dynamic of a game. He only moved up a couple spots on my list, but consider that Duncan and KG took up spots ahead of him this year - from the center spot last year. And David West took a big leap for me as his health returns and his place within Indiana's offense is key for their success. Faried's game got better from year one to year two and it should get better this coming season as well. He's a special talent and a rising talent.

Hickson snuck into the back half of my list at 17th. He's another guy that can change the game with energy, like Faried, but has a little more diverse offensive game. It's never good when you hear a guy like Jason Quick, from The Oregonian, call Hickson the worst defensive player in the league (on 104.3 FM with Scott Hastings and Drew Goodman), so that side of his game holds him back. But you can be effective and lack on defense, but Hickson must improve if he wants to challenge as a big time PF in the league.

The Verdict: Only the small forward spot, LeBron James, had a consensus number one among the Stiffs Crew and Duncan joins James there. Colin and Jeff continue to mirror each other on Faried's ranking as they both move him up from 12th to 8th. Nate has Faried at 11th and Andy continues to hand out the toughest grade to Denver's starting PF at 18th, from 20th. Hickson goes from unranked on all four guys' lists to 14th on Colin's, 19th on Jeff's, and 17th on Nate's - he didn't make Andy's cut.

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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