Michael Porter Shines in Limited Playing Time
Michael Porter has been dubbed by many to be the steal of his respective draft class. The only problem? He has not played an NBA minute as of yet. However, in the Denver Nuggets’ first preseason game, the NBA world got to see a glimpse of his potential. While many were maybe hoping to see the likes of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, or even Gary Harris in action, Nuggets Nation was waiting for Michael Porter to emerge. In a playoff rematch against the Portland Trail Blazers, Porter was able to make the most of his 16 minutes of action. It is time to take a deeper look at the kid’s NBA preseason debut.
Michael Porter: His Numbers
Before we go any further, bear in mind that Porter only got 16 minutes of playing time. So, while his numbers may not jump off the charts, they are still solid for the limited amount of time he did receive. Porter was able to tally nine points on 57 percent shooting from the field. He would have finished in double figures had he made both of his free throw attempts, but that skill will come with time. He also came away with three rebounds and a player differential of plus six.
What the box score does not tell you is that two of Porter’s field goals were extremely difficult jump-shots. Shots he made look silky smooth with his excellent release. Oh, and not to mention they were well guarded. Porter certainly did his best Kevin Durant impression on these plays and if this is what is to come, then the rest of the NBA better watch out for the Denver Nuggets.
MPJ: How he Looked Within the Nuggets’ System
Granted, this is a very small sample we got considering this was Denver’s first preseason game. However, what we did see from the team as a whole was very promising. The great thing is that Porter worked within the team concept of things. He did not try to force the issue and he took his opportunities that came to him. So many times we see young players get sloppy and/or frustrated in their NBA debuts. That was not the case for Porter.
He seemed willing to defer to the open man when needed, took open looks when he had them, and did not get down on himself when a mistake was made. Taking a year off to get healthy seems to have done Porter well and he looks like he is just going to get better. If Michael Porter can reach even a fraction of his potential, then the Denver Nuggets should be considered legitimate title contenders. Even Trail Blazers superstar, Damian Lillard, took notice of Porter saying “I thought he looked good. The ball comes off his hand pretty easy. He seemed really confident… you see the belief is there. So I see him being pretty good.” If his first preseason game was any indication, then the more minutes he receives, the deadlier Porter will become as a player.
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