DENVER -- Arnett Moultrie should have kept a keen eye on the play of Kenneth Faried Wednesday night. The Nuggets' starting power forward finished with 12 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes of work.
But it is the way Faried plays that Moultrie should aspire to emulate, and his coach has told him as much.
“The knock on Arnett is 'Can you do that? Can that be how you play? Is that your Faried motor?' That is what he needs to be," Brett Brown said. "He needs to be a junkyard dog, an energy guy, that type of toughness. That is his challenge.
"When he gets back in shape and has some level of a playing rhythm, he is different and I look forward to bringing him into the mix. There is an athleticism and an energy that is different than our group.”
It will be a challenge for Moultrie to be that junkyard dog only because when you speak to him he is soft spoken and laid back. Then again, Thaddeus Young is quiet by nature but plays loud, so it can be done. But Moultrie insists energetic is actually how he likes to play.
“I like playing aggressive, with a lot of energy and getting up and down the floor,” Moultrie said. “I try to get a lot of fifty-fifty balls and go out there and try and dominate the paint because I think that is what we are lacking.”
A big man dominating the paint would certainly qualify Moultrie as different on this roster, but it still goes back to Brown’s initial premise. Moultrie’s future is riding on his ability to be an energy player, a player like the Sixers faced in Faried Wednesday night.
“If he can, he is going to help us, and down the road he will earn a fairly significant income and stay in the NBA for a while,” Brown said. “Otherwise there are a lot of players out there like Arnett that hang around and end up in Istanbul.
“I think he can be an NBA keeper provided he understands his road map, and it needs to be one of fierce competitor and something that is energized and not cruisy and from time to time,” Brown said. “That is his knock. He is wide-eyed when you talk to him and it is my mission to try and help him get to that level.”
Moultrie played his first five-on-five basketball Tuesday following October ankle surgery. An exact date on his return to game action has not been set but is expected sometime in January.