At 43-22, good for third best in the Western conference, the Denver Nuggets were one of the best teams in the league this season. Here’s the Denver Post on a talented young member of the squad’s supporting cast, Michael Porter Jr:
On Oct. 31 in New Orleans, Porter scored a team-high 15 points in his professional debut, but it came during an embarrassing pummeling to the Pelicans. It was unsettling because his personal triumph came amid a painful loss. To his credit, he struck the right tone.
For the next two months, he was a part of the revolving door at small forward, splitting time with Craig and Hernangomez. None of them found much rhythm, and Porter wasn’t getting the consistent minutes that would allow him to maintain confidence on offense or develop as a defender. Finally, in late December, he had his breakout game (19 points, 8-of-10 shooting) in his first start vs. the Kings. Two games later, at Indiana, he had the highlight of his season.
Porter hung a career-high 25 points against the Pacers and served as the catalyst for a significant road win. The degree of difficulty on some of the shots he hit that night validated some of the rumors that had trickled out of the Nuggets’ practice court.
Porter played sparingly, averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 14.0 minutes per game, but he shot well: 49.5% from the field and 42.2% from three-point range. There’s every reason to believe he’ll keep improving.
The NBA season remains on hold due to the global coronavirus pandemic.