Kenneth Faried knows how much fun the NBA playoffs are supposed to be. He experienced that joy as a rookie last year, playing against the Los Angeles Lakers.
But now his left ankle is siphoning the joy from his game.
Faried hasn't returned to full health since suffering a sprained ankle April 14 during a game against Portland, and because of it, he has struggled in the playoff series against Golden State. Even when his numbers have been good, he has felt bad.
"It's extremely frustrating," Faried said Sunday. "Especially when it's taking away my most powerful weapon — my legs. I've just got to fight through it and hopefully I'll be all right."
Faried came out strong in the first quarter, pulling in five rebounds, but his effectiveness waned and he finished with eight points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes.
Faried, who was held out of Game 1 against because of the injury, has improved as the series has progressed. A large reason for that, he said, is that his ankle is gradually feeling better.
"I'm starting to trust myself more with my ankle and trying to stay locked in," he said.
Nuggets coach George Karl has kept a watchful eye on his second-year power forward while increasing his playing time.
"He thinks he can sit out for 3½ weeks, have one day of practice and play 35 minutes," Karl said, tongue in cheek. "I haven't seen that happen, except for Superman a few times, and fortunately I had a few guys that could do it. Gary Payton could do it. Ray Allen probably could do it. As the game goes on, I've got to evaluate a lot of players, who's doing it, who's feeling good."