Playing time is one of basketball players' most sensitive subjects. Right now in the Nuggets' frontcourt, it's a super-sensitive subject. Getting minutes is as competitive as it will ever get.

Center JaVale McGee and forward Kenneth Faried found that out the hard way in the season opener against Sacramento. Foul trouble played into McGee's 10 minutes, and a lack of conditioning affected Faried's 15 minutes. Both will get additional time this season, but Nuggets coach Brian Shaw was clear that effective players will stay on the court. Those who aren't will sit more often than not.

"We have five bigs who can all play," Shaw said. "And trying to find enough minutes to utilize what each of them bring to the table, it's pretty tough. So right now it's just kind of, if a guy is rolling I'm going to let him go. If he's not, I have somebody else who I can plug in and see if they can get the job done."

Shaw talked about Faried specifically. "The Manimal" did not start against Portland, the second straight game he didn't, but those starts and minutes are on the horizon, Shaw said.