After finishing with the best record in their NBA franchise history, the Denver Nuggets have huge expectations entering the playoffs. Despite earning the third seed and homecourt, they face questions once again about their ability to get out of the first round, as they face a Golden State Warriors team with flamethrower Stephen Curry and riding a lot of momentum.
And the Nuggets may be without Kenneth Faried.
After severely injuring his ankle earlier this week and having to be carried to the locker room, Faried's X-rays were negative and he was listed as day to day. He missed the final two regular-season games for the Nuggets. It was a scary and severely painful injury. Yet Faried said Wednesday that his hope is to give it a go on Saturday for Game 1 vs. the Warriors.
"I feel physically better, I can walk without a boot, I can walk barefoot now, it's just getting better and better each day. If I can walk, I can play — well just see how good the tape job is."
So he'll play in Game 1 on Saturday?
"Hopefully. I'm not making any promises, but if I'm cleared, I'm playing."
Faried is an intense competitor and a huge part of what the Nuggets do. Despite not having an offensive skill set to speak of, Faried has a monstrous impact with his effort, rebounding, and pure hustle. Against the Warriors this season he averaged 12 points and 11 rebounds on 49 percent shooting.
We'll see if Faried is able to play when the Warriors come to town for Game 1.