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Faried brings ferocity to Nets’ rotation

August 2, 2018 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Kenneth Faried hopes to bring some of his leadership skills and passion to the Brooklyn Nets in 2018-19. AP Photo by David Zalubowski

Veteran forward eager to be energizer, leader for Brooklyn

Kenneth Faried eschews the idea that he was simply one of Nets general manager Sean Marks’ salary-dump summer pickups.

Instead, the 6-foot-8, 228-pound forward known as “The Manimal” believes he can play a vital role in Brooklyn’s ongoing rebuilding project on the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues this coming season.

“Brooklyn decided to pick up a still-able, capable player who can go out there produce and lead a team,” insisted Faried during his initial meet-and-greet with the local media Wednesday afternoon at the Nets’ HSS Training Center.

Known primarily for his interior toughness and ferocity on the boards, Faried is an atypical addition to a Kenny Atkinson-led team that believes in hoisting up 3-pointers and running the floor at break-neck speeds.

But there can be no fast break without a rebound, nor can a missed 3-pointer turn into a second-chance points opportunity without someone willing to bang inside and come out with the ball.

“I think he fits with that Brooklyn grit that we talk about in terms of how he plays; he plays with high intensity, obviously at a fast pace,” said Marks after acquiring Faried from Denver, along with the since-dealt Darrell Arthur back on July 13, for Brooklyn’s-own Isaiah Whitehead.

“His game will transition well to Brooklyn and what Kenny’s wanting to do here. He brings some of the intangibles that you mentioned before, which is just that interior presence, the physicality and so forth.”

Over his first seven NBA seasons, the Newark, N.J., native has averaged 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

Though he doesn’t figure to get many touches on the offensive end, he has been more than adept at creating his own via offensive rebounds and put-backs.

Faried, who was the Nuggets’ first-round pick (22nd overall) in 2011, played sparingly a season ago, making just 32 appearances and seven starts for a Denver team that was in transition.

He averaged 10.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in a pair of playoff series for the Nuggets in 2012-13, gaining the type of big-game experience the Nets will need if they hope to return to the postseason for the first time since 2015.

But what makes Faried an important addition to the team is not his playoff experience or otherworldly rebounding stats. Instead, it is the intangible elements of his game that shine through over the long haul of an 82-game NBA season.

“My energy is contagious. It was contagious around the whole team, the whole stadium [in Denver],” Faried noted, recalling the “We Want Manimal!” chants he heard whenever he headed to the scorer’s table to check in.

“I bring that energy and that’s what I intend to do here.”

* * *

Todd Frazier ended his two-game stint in Brooklyn on a high note, celebrating the Cyclones’ come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Valley Cats with his temporary teammates Wednesday night in front of 4,363 fans at Coney Island’s MCU Park.

Frazier, who was finishing up a rehab stint with the Baby Bums, went 1-for-4 while playing the full nine innings at third base for a second consecutive night along Surf Avenue.

Though he was scheduled to rejoin the parent-club Mets Thursday night against Atlanta at Citi Field for his first big league action since July 9, when he suffered a rib injury, Frazier didn’t depart our fair borough without a win in his pocket.

The New Jersey native homered during Tuesday’s loss to the ValleyCats and picked up a single in the fourth inning Wednesday.

But the big blow of the night came off the bat of Brooklyn center fielder Anthony Durocie, who erased a 2-0 deficit with his first longball of the summer, a three-run blast to left in the bottom of the sixth that put the Cyclones ahead to stay.

The go-ahead homer made a winner of reliever Trent Johnson (1-1), who tossed two scoreless innings of one-hit ball after Brooklyn starter Joshua Walker was reached for two runs — both in the opening frame — on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts over the first five innings.

Ryley Gilliam worked around two walks in the eighth inning and Yeudy Colon picked up his third save despite yielding a pair of hits in the ninth as Brooklyn (24-21) averted a three-game sweep at the hands of Tri-City and pulled within 4 1/2 games of first-place Hudson Valley in the McNamara Division standings.

The Cyclones were scheduled to kick off a three-game set versus Aberdeen Thursday night at MCU Park.

* * *

In local college sports news, the St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn) soccer team named Adam Brunengo as its new head coach Thursday.

Brunengo comes to Brooklyn following a nine-year stint as the boys’ varsity soccer coach at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in East Elmhurst, where he guided the Crusaders to five CHSAA “A” Division city championships.

“We are very excited to welcome Coach Brunengo to the Bears family. Coach brings with him an extensive coaching resume at the collegiate, club, and high school levels and a great pulse for local soccer,” said St. Joseph’s Director of Athletics James Lally.

“We are fully confident that Coach will continue to build on the foundation that has been set for Bears soccer and eager to get the fall season started under his leadership.”

A volunteer assistant coach at C.W. Post, now called LIU Post, the Queens native is eager to try his craft at the collegiate level.

“I’m very excited to join the St. Joseph’s College family,” said Brunengo. “I would like to thank James and all of the staff for the opportunity to help build this program and become a contender in the Skyline Conference.”

The Bears will open the 2018 campaign on Sept. 1 versus visiting Hunter College.

 

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