The Denver Nuggets have consistently won even without two of the best players. Now, it looks like they can bring Michael Porter Jr back to the knockout stages.
Two words that will make any NBA fan cringe: back surgery.
Denver Nuggets in front of Michael Porter Jr. underwent back surgery three months ago, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski report that Porter could be asked for on-court contact as soon as “within the next week” – and that he could return to play for the Nuggets in March, in time for the pre-knockout game.
This is the 23-year-old Porter’s third back surgery (it’s one of a kind) and the second since the Nuggets drafted him in 2018.
Porter has offered to extend his five-year, $172.5 million contract this season, a move that is questionable because of the lack of major injury disclaimers that include the player’s long history. Porter about back problems. (This dropped him to 14th pick in the draft when he was once considered consensus #1) But Porter earned that extension by upping his game last year when The Nuggets needed him the most.
In the last month of last season without Jamal Murray (who tore his ACL), the MPJ averaged 23.4 points per game along with 55.2 percent of shots from the field and 48.8 percent from 3 of eight 3-point attempts per game. It’s been an incredible bounce after Porter struggled to gain a lot of playing time during his rookie season, averaging just 16.4 minutes and 9.3 points per game between 2019-20.
Michael Porter Jr. could be a huge addition to the Nuggets playoffs
Without Porter and Murray basically this whole season (Porter only played the first nine games), Nikola Jokic kept the Nuggets in the playoff picture with another insane performance at the MVP level of a season, averaging 25.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 8.0 assists, carrying the Nuggets overnight.
The Denver Nuggets currently sit 5th/6th in the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks, four games ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the coveted final seed to avoid the play-ins.
Although Porter has struggled to start this season, it is certain that the MPJ’s return to the roster will be widely welcomed. The timing really couldn’t be better as the last day of the regular season, April 10, is fast approaching. (Two words that will get any NBA fan excited: playoff basketball.)
Recently report also hinted that Jamal Murray could be back in time for post-season.
With the added firepower of MPJ and Murray, the Nuggets certainly feel like a looming black horse in a waning Western Conference.
https://fansided.com/2022/02/28/michael-porter-jr-nuggets-return-playoffs/ Michael Porter Jr. could be back for the Nuggets before the playoffs