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Nuggets vs Hawks: Kenneth Faried not knowing his role could be an issue

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It's always a good thing when you are 19 games into a season and your starting power forward is not on the same page as his coach. The drama between Brian Shaw and Kenneth Faried continues to loom large for the Nuggets.

After the debacle in the Nation's capital, Kenneth Faried had this to say about his role with the Nuggets:

Shaw said Faried's energy and rebounding - the two things that "no matter what, he has to bring," the coach said - were lacking in the loss. The 25-year-old appears to be a cornerstone of the franchise, signed to a four-year extension this fall, but he also was the subject of trade rumors last season and benching last season, with defensive lapses at the root. Faried said he still is unsure of exactly what Shaw expects from him on a nightly basis.

"No, not exactly," he said. "I understand just playing defense, doing the little things, boxing out, rebounding. But coach is going to do what he needs to ... to help us (win)."

Yes we are still here. This season is eerily similar to last season. A bizarre incident with a prominent player, injuries limiting key players (although no serious injuries thus far!), no real set rotation, and Faried being confused on the court and with how his coach wants him to play. This is just great!

The Nuggets are facing a brutal December schedule that will make or break their season, and if the Wizards game is any indication ... the Nuggets will be lottery bound once again. The team showed signs of coming together with a 8-2 record from Nov. 14th - Dec. 1st. But an injury to JaVale McGee has allowed Brian Shaw to tinker with his rotation and it hasn't been pretty.

Game 20: 2014-15 NBA Season
@

Hawks

(9-10, 4-6 away)
Series 0-0
(12-6, 8-2 home)
Dec. 7, 2014
Phillips Arena - Atlanta, GA
1:30 PM MT
Altitude / 950 AM

Ty Lawson PG Jeff Teague
Arron Afflalo SG Kyle Korver
Wilson Chandler SF DeMarre Carroll
J.J. Hickson PF Paul Millsap
Timofey Mozgov C Al Horford
Notes
Denver Stiffs Blogs Peachtree Hoops
JaVale McGee- Left Lower Leg Strain, (Questionable). Nate Robinson- Thoracic Vertebral Contusion (Doubtful). Randy Foye - Right Vastus Lateralis Strain (Out), Jusuf Nurkic - Personal Reasons (Not With Team). Injuries None.
The Nuggets are 37-42 all time versus the Hawks. Etc... The Hawks are 31-8 vs Denver in Atlanta, yowza.

The Nuggets face an uphill battle this afternoon, the team is 0-1 in games played during the day and they could be in for a long afternoon against the streaking Hawks. Atlanta has the ability to play inside with Paul Millsap and Al Horford and outside with Kyle Korver. Jeff Teague orchestrates the offense and has really come into his own as a player. Our old junkyard dog friend DeMarre Carroll has found a home in the Peach state, and does the dirty work for the starting unit.

Denver has played okay on the road this season, posting a 4-6 record. We all know road games are a bit of a different beast, but getting blown out in D.C. after having adequate rest is a concern.

Are the Nuggets starting to unravel? We'll get an answer today.

Update:

Kenneth Faried is out today with a back injury. He informed coach Brian Shaw that he won't play, according to Chris Dempsey. J.J. Hickson gets the start and will probably play 48 minutes.