Michael Porter Jr. in the Nuggets’ Game 4 loss to the Clippers last night:
First half: 15 points on six shots in 16 minutes
Second half: 0 points on two shots (the second a putback of his own miss) in 18 minutes
I just didn’t touch the ball. They didn’t do anything differently.
That’s really up to the playcalls. That’s up to the coaches, who they want to put the ball in whose hands. We kept going to Jok and ‘Mal. And they’re two amazing players. You can can never get mad at that. But I just think to beat that team, we’ve got to get more players involved. We’ve got to move the ball a little bit better. We can’t be predictable against that team.
If I’m going to be out there on the floor playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that. So, I’ll probably talk to the coaches, just tell them what I see being out there on the floor, just letting them know, look, they know what we’re doing. We’ve go to swing the ball. We’ve got a lot of players that can play basketball and score. So, we’ve got to get some more guys involved.
That’s a heck of a thing for a rookie to say publicly during the second round of the playoffs.
But Porter has shown he’ll, um, share his thoughts about things.
Let’s get to the most important aspect: Is he right?
The Denver Nuggets‘ offense rightfully runs through Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Could Denver benefit from better ball movement at times? Sure.
But the Los Angeles Clippers‘ defense is good and hitting its stride. Getting more touches for lesser players probably isn’t some magical solution for the Nuggets. They just don’t have L.A.’s talent.
The biggest boost for Denver will likely come from regression to the mean. In addition to being overmatched, the Nuggets ran unsustainably cold last night.
And it’s not as if getting Porter more involved would facilitate better ball movement. In this series, he has passed on just 64% of his touches (give or take inbound passes) – fewest among Denver’s rotation players.
That’s his game, and Porter provides value as an isolation scorer. He warrants opportunities.
It’s just off-putting to hear him talk about ball movement as a thinly veiled plea for the ball to get moved to him