The Denver Nuggets managed to start their season off on a good note, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 107-102; however, if it wasn’t for Kenneth Faried, the Nuggets may very well have lost the game.

Coming into the season, it was unclear what Kenneth Faried’s role with the team was going to be. The idea of a switch to the bench was floated around and became reality after the Balkan Bigs forced the hand of Michael Malone.

Towards the end of the third quarter and for a majority of the fourth quarter, the Nuggets played extremely poor basketball, turning the ball over consistently and making it seem like the Nuggets were going to squander a 14-point lead.

Well, the new-look Faried, who contributed nine points and 14 boards, saved the day for the Nuggs, bringing an energetic intensity the rest of the roster had apparently lost.

“I give him a lot of credit because he’s a guy that has started his whole career, not feeling sorry for himself, going out and finishing the game and helping us get a win,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone told Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “The guy takes two, three charges, a couple of blocked shots, just effort plays. He missed his first couple of easy ones, but then he started scoring and finishing around the basket. We don’t win the game without Kenneth Faried’s energy up and down the floor.

“I want to make sure I give him a shout out, because I know he’s got a lot of pride and I know he’s started and he’s had a good career. But right now he’s coming off the bench, and I thought what he did tonight was special.”

(Courtesy of The Denver Post)

For Faried, the impressive performance was nothing new.

“I just did my job,” Faried said. “I just went out and did my job. Another day in the office.”

If Faried can continue to take to his new role on the bench, he could become one of the most-effective bench players in the NBA.