Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (ankle) is not expected to play in Game 1 of the 2013 NBA playoff series against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri told a radio show in Denver that he doubts Faried will play in Game 1 and that a return in Game 2 wasn't even a certainty, according to Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post.
Faried injured his ankle on April 14. An MRI revealed no fractures, and he was diagnosed with a strain of the anterior talofibular ligament. He spoke with reporters about his recovery for the playoffs on Thursday (via The Denver Post):
"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 - we'll just see how good the tape job is."
The 23-year-old forward averaged 11.5 points on 55.2 percent shooting and 9.2 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game for the Nuggets this season. He started 80 games for the team and then missed the final two contests of the year due to the injury.
The Nuggets are already playing without Danilo Gallinari, who had his season cut short after an ACL injury. Wilson Chandler has been pressed into extended action in the wake of Gallinari's injury, and even more responsibility could fall on him if Faried misses time. In the Denver Stiffs' playoff series preview, Nate Timmons expressed some concerned about how the Nuggets would look to stop Warriors power forward David Lee:
David Lee, PF, played in all four games vs. Denver: 23.3 pts, 10.3 rebs, 5 assists, 2.3 steals
If you want to know why the Warriors hung with the Nuggets this season -- Lee, 29 years-old, is the reason. The guy nearly averaged a triple-double! He can do a bit of it all on offense, said for hit three-pointers. If Kenneth Faried isn't able to go, it'll be interesting to see how Karl chooses to defend Lee. Chandler will see significant time on Lee, regardless of Faried's availability, and it'll be up to him to slow down the sweet shooting lefty.
Game 1 against the Warriors is set for 5:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The action will be broadcast on ESPN.