How Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. Can Be Difference-Maker Against Wolves

Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray
Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Looking At The Bigger Picture

It’s also worth mentioning that Minnesota is the only team that Porter Jr. has played four times this season, which means he’s more familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the players and tactics they use to defend him. The two teams last clashed in a back-to-back in early February during which MPJ scored a combined 52 points, including a 30-ball on 4-for-6 shooting from deep in the second contest.

The Nuggets won that game by 30+ points, which goes to show how important it is for MPJ to be scoring if Denver is going to be successful. The Nuggets went 17-5 this year when Porter Jr. scored 20 or more points, and it would not be surprising if that number jumps to 21-5 by the time this series is done.

With Nikola Jokic having to deal with Gobert when Denver’s on offense and possibly having to grapple with Karl-Anthony Towns on the defensive end, the rest of the rotation will have to step up. In the backcourt the starters seemingly cancel each other out. While Anthony Edwards and Jamal Murray might not matchup all the time, their similar slashing scoring abilities will likely leave them in a stalemate in terms of game impact.

Savvy 3-and-D veterans Mike Conley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are also similar, which leaves the big what if at the four where Aaron Gordon should be able to have success offensively against KAT, as well as at the three, where MPJ is coming in hot.

Kyle Anderson is a grizzled vet, but he lacks a lot of quickness and athleticism to guard MPJ, and Alexander-Walker is simply too small to contest Porter Jr.’s jumpers with any effectiveness, especially considering MPJ is one of those jump shooters who really jumps on every shot.

This series is shaping up to be MPJ’s chance to show the NBA world that he’s a big game player that needs to be taken seriously by having a major impact on Denver’s playoff success this season.