Pretty eventful bubble experience so far for Michael Porter Jr and Nuggets fans everywhere. One minute you're getting banned on social media because you ignore science, they next minute you are dropping 67 points in two games and doing something not done since young Blake. If you want to talk about potential wild cards for the postseason, you should probably start with MPJ.
When people talk about how deep the Nuggets are it's not a joke. They can go 10 deep and not have a care in the world. Entering the 2018 Draft, MPJ was a prospect with tons of potential but also just as much uncertainty about his back. Pick after pick went by in the Lottery and he was still on the board. You can understand why a team might be hesitant to waste a high lottery pick on a guy with serious injury concerns. Well then it was time for the Nuggets to pick at 14 and they decided to take the risk. Given their roster it wasn't like they needed him right away, so he sat out his entire rookie season. In Year 2, he played sparingly. He was basically found money with whatever he gave the Nuggets and averaged less than 11 minutes a nigh through the first few months of the season. Once January hit, those minutes went up to around 20 and so did the the production. You could see flashes of what MPJ might be capable of. Unfortunately he went back to not really playing before the hiatus and who knew what would be in store for the playoffs.
Now, while filling in for guys who are still sitting out, there's no way Mike Malone can keep him out of the playoff rotation. He looks like a top 5 talent from that draft class and a legit stud. Sure it's just two games, but let Nuggets fans have this. If this type of play is here to stay, the Nuggets have one of the most intriguing young cores in the entire league with Jokic/Murray/Harris/MPJ/Bol Bol. From what I can tell it sure as shit looks like their gamble during the 2018 NBA Draft is paying off.
While I think it's a bit unrealistic to think he can keep averaging 30 points while shooting around 75% from the field, that's not what would excite me as a Nuggets fan. I'd be pumped that in a conference that will be tight as hell, they have another legit weapon to throw at second units. It's another reason to be excited about their future. I would bet anything there are GMs around the league that passed on MPJ in 2018 that are watching him flourish now and regret it big time.
Sometimes you need a little draft luck as you attempt to make the leap into being a title contender, and all signs point to Denver hitting the lottery.