If there was any doubt as to which side of the Kenneth Faried fence Nuggets coach Brian Shaw currently sits, there isn’t any more.

“I definitely want to have him back,” Shaw said. “And expect to have him back.”

Faried was the Nuggets’ best player after the All-Star break, leading the team in scoring (18.8 points per game), rebounding (10.1) and shooting percentage (54.6 percent). He was third on the team in steals (1.1 per game) during that span.

“Kenneth finished out the season very, very strong,” Shaw said. “We clashed at times at the beginning of the season because of what I expected, and I hold the guys to a high standard, just like I hold myself. I saw some things in him this year.

“Is he going to be undersized pretty much every night at his position? Yeah. But can he make up for that by doing some other things that he has a special and unique talent for doing? Yeah. I’ve seen it now, know what his motor is. I know when he’s giving us everything he has and I know when he’s not. And when he’s not, I’m going to stay tough on him because we need him to always play with that motor.”

In July the Nuggets can start negotiating an extension with Faried, who will enter the final year on his rookie contract next season. He’ll command a significant salary, and rightfully so given the improvement he’s made, his potential and his appeal to Nuggets fans.