Anthony Randolph, J.J. Hickson among Denver Nuggets' projected opening-night starters


New Denver coach Brian Shaw looks ready to bring Kenneth Faried off the bench to begin the season.

After George Karl's firing in Denver, it appears new Nuggets coach Brian Shaw won't waste any time turning things over. On Tuesday, Shaw said he plans to start Ty Lawson, Randy Foye, Anthony Randolph, J.J. Hickson and JaVale McGee in the team's season opener against the Sacramento Kings.

Noticeably absent from that starting lineup? Kenneth Faried, the former first-round pick who started 80 games for Karl last season. From the looks of things, Shaw isn't quite the Faried fan that his predecessor admittedly was.

For "The Manimal," this development certainly comes as disappointing news, but there are few different angles worth taking here, ranging from "Maybe Faried just isn't all that good" to "Wait, someone is actually going to give Anthony Randolph a chance?"

But more than anything, it's surprising to see the coach Denver hired to play one big man (McGee) go ahead and bench another. Obviously we can't know the inner workings of the Nuggets' front office, but reports suggested strongly that Karl's preference for veterans played a hand in earning his pink slip.

Assuming management views Faried as one of those young players in need of playing time, benching him for older guys like Hickson and Randolph seems a quick way for Shaw to frustrate his superiors. Considering how well things seemed to be going during the 56-win season in 2012-13, expect a bit more chaos in Denver this season.

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