The image of Michael Porter Jr. as a productive NBA player is finally coming into focus, and the future looks pretty bright.
The 21-year-old Denver Nuggets rookie had the best game of his career on Thursday, dropping 25 points on a hyper-efficient 11-of-12 shooting along with five rebounds. His only miss came from behind the 3-point line, where he was 2-of-3.
That keyed a 124-116 comeback win against the Indiana Pacers, and was enough to earn Porter a rare inside-the-locker-room Gatorade shower.
Porter’s big night continues the strongest stretch of his young career. In his last four games, Porter has posted 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on 72.2 percent shooting, despite 39 percent of his field goal attempts coming from deep.
Prior to last Saturday, Porter hadn’t reached double-digit points since his debut with the Nuggets. Coincidentally, he also hadn’t topped 20 minutes in a game in the same span.
That definitely qualifies as good news for the Nuggets, who took Porter 14th overall in last year’s NBA draft despite questions mark about his health that eventually forced him to miss last season. Porter’s talent was that tantalizing, and getting even a portion of the stardom the Missouri product was expected to achieve would be a massive coup for the Nuggets.
The Nuggets are currently second in the Western Conference at 24-10 despite previously negligible production from Porter. An emergence from the young player would set up the team quite well to continue improving, both this season and beyond.
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