Michael Porter Jr. shows potential in recent games

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. Credit: Getty Images

Michael Porter Jr. didn’t play last season due to a serious back injury (and surgeries in 2017 and 2018 while in college), and so his rookie campaign with the Denver Nuggets started one year later.

It’s been a work in progress for the University of Missouri product.

In his 34th NBA game, Porter notched a double-double against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, scoring 20 points and grabbing a career-best 14 rebounds in 29-plus minutes off the bench. He also dished out four assists in Denver’s 107-100 victory.

Porter, a power forward, scored in double figures in five consecutive games. Then he sat out Denver’s road game against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday with back pain.

What’s more, he’s maximized his minutes. Averaging 12.8 minutes per game, he’s contributing 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting .539 percent from the field and .406 from 3-point range.

Teammates impressed with Michael Porter Jr.

He’s an amazing talent,” Nuggets star Nikola Jokic said this week, according to The Denver Post. “When you see his ball is going into the hoop, it’s amazing. Swoosh every time. He’s a big guy, he’s a rebounder. He can do a lot of things out there.”

Teammate Will Barton agrees with Jokic’s overall perspective.

“Everyone knows his talent is out of this world,” Barton was quoted as saying by The Denver Post. “At 6-11, like I always say, with his ability, it’s hard to guard him. And then he goes in there, he’s relentless on the boards. What can I say?”

Coach’s insights

In December, Nuggets coach Michael Malone pointed out to reporters that the team has supreme confidence in Michael Porter Jr.’s shooting ability.

According to The Denver Post, Malone mentioned that Porter is a player “who every time he shoots the ball, you think it’s going in, it’s got a chance.”