Michael Porter Jr. wasn’t happy with the Denver Nuggets’ approach in the second half of Game 4. Porter, who went 5 of 6 from the field in the first half, scored zero points in the second half of the team’s 96-85 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Porter, 22, wasn’t shut out due to excellent defense or poor shooting, however. Instead, Porter blamed his poor second-half numbers on the Nuggets’ coaching strategy, according to the Denver Post.
"I mean, that's really up to the play calls, that's really up to the coaches, who they want to put the ball in whose hands. We kept going to Jokic and 'Mal, and they're two amazing players, you can never get mad at that. But I just think to beat that team, we gotta get more players involved, we gotta move the ball a little bit better. We can't be predictable against that team.
"If I'm gonna be out there on the floor playing a lot of minutes, I think I should voice that (concern). 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.' Like, we gotta swing the ball. We've got a lot of players who can play basketball and score. We gotta get some more guys involved."
Porter took just two shots in the second half of the contest.
According to Porter, the Nuggets shifted to a game plan that only included Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Porter didn’t criticize his teammates, calling them “amazing players.” He did, however, argue that the Nuggets need to get more players involved if the team wants to win. Porter also noted he felt the Clippers knew what the Nuggets were trying to do offensively.
Porter said he would speak to the coaches about what he was seeing on the court. While it’s unusual for a rookie to call out his coaches, Porter said he felt comfortable speaking out based on his playing time. The Nuggets must think highly of Porter if he’s playing 33 minutes in a playoff game.
Porter Jr. criticized for calling out Nuggets
While it was bold for Porter to call out his coaching staff, it probably wasn’t smart. Porter was called out for his opinion by both Damian Lillard and Kendrick Perkins.
Lillard later said he believed Porter’s analysis was “wrong.” Lillard added, “If you know, you know.”
Perkins echoed that sentiment.
This ain’t it young fella!!! https://t.co/FaRROkiSoE
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) September 10, 2020
It’s unclear how Porter’s teammates will respond to those comments, though one damning stat doesn’t exactly paint Porter in a fantastic light.
Michael Porter Jr this series
Field goal attempts: 44
I'm sure this will go over well in the locker room. https://t.co/Hl7rXJtNpT
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) September 10, 2020
The Nuggets don’t have long to rectify the situation. With the team down 3-1, the Nuggets will be playing to stay alive during Game 5, which will take place Friday.
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