If it wasn’t for injuries, Michael Porter Jr. could have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Instead, he dropped all the way to No. 14, and it’s looking like that could be quite the stroke of luck for the Denver Nuggets. After sitting out his entire first season due to more injury problems, Porter finally made his debut this season and is showing some flashes of the talent that made him such an exciting prospect. 

That continued on Wednesday night when Porter put together one of his best games of the season. Shooting 7-of-13 from the field, the always efficient Porter finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in the Nuggets’ 100-86 win over the Charlotte Hornets. This was tied for Porter’s second-highest scoring game of the season.

Porter has been pretty hit or miss this season, which isn’t all that surprising considering he’s not only never played in the NBA before, but hasn’t played organized basketball for a couple years. He’s also had a tough time finding consistent minutes in a deep Nuggets frontcourt, which makes it even tougher to get into a rhythm.

When he does get a chance to run, however, he’s shown some flashes. In games when he’s played at least 15 minutes, he’s averaging 15.1 points and 4.8 rebounds on 70.5 percent shooting, and the Nuggets are 6-1 in those seven games.

On nights like this one, you can see why he was such a heralded recruit, and why the Nuggets were eager to scoop him up in the draft despite the injury concerns. He can really score the ball, and if things work out the way the Nuggets hope, he could be the perfect complementary player to Nikola Jokic. 

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