Kenneth Faried's troublesome size

I don't care if people have doubts about Faried's skills.  That is a completely understandable worry.  He has no offense and mostly played in the middle of a zone on defense for his entire college career.  The problem I have is when people discount Faried because of his size.

First thing's first.  NBA players play basketball while wearing shoes.  The fact that he's 6'6" without shoes should not be a factor to anybody.  If you're going to worry about how tall he is in bare feet then you should subtract 1 or 2 inches from every NBA player's listed heights.  All of those heights are their measurements (usually rounded up) with shoes on.  Kenneth Faried will be listed as 6'8" in the NBA.  It is entirely valid to compare his size to other players who have listed as 6'8" in the NBA as they were given the same liberties.

But I'm not going to talk about how Faried's size compares favorably to some rebounders of the past.  I want to talk about how he compares to current NBA power forwards.

Players do not block shots with their heads (as cool as that would be).  They also do not get a head in a shooter's face.  What matters most in regards to height on defense is how high/far you can reach your hands.  I do not care how high Faried's head reaches.  Because of his impressive wingspan, Faried's standing reached measured at 9'0".  The only potential first rounders to measure higher are players projected to be centers and Tristan Thompson (9'0.5").  I compiled a list of potential threats that he would be asked to defend in the NBA and his standing reach compares favorably with most of them.  I will post the list shortly.

The next issue is his weight.  At 225 pounds he is a little lighter than most bigs.  However he did post a pretty good number in the bench press.  If his lower body strength can match his upper body strength and he uses proper footwork there shouldn't be many players that can push him around.  The key is whether he can learn these defensive techniques.

As I promised, here is a list of players and their listed standing reaches and weights.  Note that older players (e.g. KG), international players (e.g. Ibaka), and players who weren't drafted do not have a listing for their standing reach and were not included.  Data from DraftExpress.  (I have no idea how to format this correctly)

LaMarcus Aldridge    9'2"        234
Andrea Bargnani        9'2"        249
Brandon Bass        8'10.5"        246
Carlos Boozer        9'05"        258
Chris Bosh        9'1"        225
DeMarcus Cousins    9'5"        292
Ed Davis        9'0"        227
Blake Griffin        8'9"        248
Tyler Hansbrough    8'10"        234
Al Horford        8'11"        246
Al Jefferson        9'2"        263
Carl Landry        8'6.5"        248
David Lee        8'10.5"        230
Kevin Love        8'10"        255
Josh McRoberts        8'10.5"        240
Paul Millsap        8'9.5"        258
Greg Monroe        9'0.5"        247
Nene            9'1"        253
Joakim Noah        8'10.5"        223
Josh Smith        8'10.5"        221
Amare Stoudemire    9'0.5"        233
Charlie Villanueva    9'1"        237
David West        9'0.5"        226

As you can see, there's very few players in the NBA that Faried would be forced to defend whose size he probably couldn't handle.  DeMarcus Cousins and Al Jefferson seem to cause the biggest match-up problems.  Unless those players are paired with someone equally as imposing I doubt Faried would be assigned to either of them though.

In summary, I do not think Faried's size will be as much of a detriment to his NBA prospects as many people think.  As long as he works on his lower body and develops proper defensive fundamentals (which, to be honest, I have no idea whether he will or not) there shouldn't be many match-ups that he cannot handle.  If you don't like his skills, ok.  That is a fine reason not to like a player.  His size is not.

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