As the Denver Nuggets squared off with the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, the Nuggets were able to keep rolling to get a win and all but affirm that they will have home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. However, Kenneth Faried suffered an ankle injury very early in the game, adding to their list of injuries.
The injury to Faried has been diagnosed as a sprain of a ligament in his ankle. This ailment sidelined him for their game on Monday and will keep him out of their final game of the season on Wednesday. Faried has vowed that he will be ready for the postseason and seems to have a vote of confidence from Nuggets’ coaches.
Even if Faried does play, though, the first game of the playoffs will be less than a week after he suffered the injury. Though he’s been healing and resting over that time, that’s still a relatively short period of time for an injury like an ankle sprain, a notoriously hard injury to judge, to heal. With this, the assumption can be made that Faried won’t be at 100 percent when he takes the floor for the postseason.
That really causes problems for him and the Nuggets. Faried has been absolutely fantastic for Denver this season, averaging 11.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game on 55.2 percent shooting. However, the bulk of Faried’s success is derived from the fact that his motor and hustle is unparalleled in the league and from his elite athleticism. With a less than fully healthy ankle, those two things are obviously going to be affected.
Denver is still going to be able to be effective in the early rounds of the playoffs because they are such a deep team and have played a platoon of guys all season. However, after they get out of the first round and if Faried is still somewhat slowed down by the injury, Faried could be rendered relatively ineffective which would mean bad news for the Nuggets.