Michael Porter Jr. had a big showing on Thursday night as the Denver Nuggets came back from a 19-point second half deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime. Porter had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes and proved he needs to start getting more time on the floor for the Nuggets.
Entering Thursday night's game, Porter was averaging just 11.4 minutes in 31 games so far this season. Obviously Denver wanted to bring him along slowly after he sat out his entire rookie season while dealing with a recurring back injury. While that was a smart move, the 21-year-old has clearly shown it's time stop limiting him.
I'm not the only one who is a big fan of Porter. Charles Barkley is convinced after what he saw Thursday night:
Porter is showing he can really shoot it. He's hit 20 of his last 44 shots from 3-point range and is now over 40 percent for the season. Additionally, Porter has played really well when he's been allowed to see the floor more:
Those numbers are outstanding and they are more proof that it's time for head coach Mike Malone to take the training wheels off. With Jamal Murray likely out for a while with a sprained ankle, that frees up room in the rotation for Porter to get more minutes.
The Nuggets have a good one-two punch with Nikola Jokic and Murray. But Will Barton isn't going to terrify opposing teams as Denver's third option. Porter might. He's a really smart player, a great shooter and can finish in the lane and at the rim. He's got a future and the Nuggets need to take advantage of his talent now.
Porter could be a difference-maker in the second half of the season for the Nuggets.