Denver Nuggets forward Michael Potter Jr. will have his first game of the season tonight against the Lakers. There is hope he can be ready for Friday’s opener against the Jazz.
The 24-year-old played in just nine games last season after undergoing his third back surgery at this young age. Listed as withdrawn due to (lumbar management).
Back issues are unfortunately a recurring theme in Porter Jr.’s career so far. There’s a reason he was a top 15 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. He is a gifted basketball player and his injuries play an important role.
Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (groin strain) will miss his season opener tonight against the Lakers (ESPN, 10 ET), but there is hope that he could return on Friday against Utah, sources told ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 26, 2022
Porter Jr. is the second leading scorer on his team (18.3) behind Nikola Jokic (20.3). He also averaged 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists this season. He is also scoring 18.3 points per game. In four games, he shot 51 percent from the field and exactly 50 percent from three.
The Nuggets will have to make a few adjustments in the lineup to try and make up for Porter Jr.’s production. Aaron Gordon could switch to SF and someone like Jeff Green or Bruce Brown could start. We see Nikola Jokic need to elevate his game beyond his capabilities.
The top three games by players this season:
20 – Stephen Curry
16 – Damian Lillard
16 – Michael Porter J.
16 – Desmond Bane pic.twitter.com/vzR7aPQa8E
— SplashBrosMuse (@SplashBrosMuse) October 26, 2022
Jokic has won back-to-back MVPs and knows a thing or two when it comes to carrying a team on his back. The Nuggets were without Porter Jr. for all but nine games last year and Jamaal Murray missed the entire season with an ACL injury. Murray is back this season and his numbers are down a bit.
He may be trying to get himself back to the player he once was and it may take time. Tonight will be a great opportunity for Murray to get more scoring control for the Nuggets. Denver will face a Lakers team loaded with top-level defensemen.