Northwest Notes: Porter, Harris, Barton, Bryant, Little

The first round of the playoffs is an educational experience for young Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., as Mike Singer of the Denver Post details. Porter had 13 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes in the team’s postseason opener against Utah on Monday but was also targeted on defense and saw extra attention offensively.

“Just being out there, learning, going through it, you can’t put a dollar sign on that,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “That’s the best teacher that Michael is going to have. We can tell him, we can prepare him, but he has to go out there and feel it for himself and learn from it, which I know he will.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Nuggets will once again be down two starters in Game 2 of their first-round series on Wednesday, Kendra Andrews of The Athletic tweets. Wings Gary Harris (hip) and Will Barton (knee), both of whom missed the opener, will sit out. Porter and Torrey Craig started in their place, though Jerami Grant and Monte Morris played heavy minutes off the bench.
  • Johnnie Bryant will remain on the Jazz’s coaching staff through the playoffs, Steve Popper of Newsday tweets. Bryant has reportedly reached an agreement with the Knicks to become the club’s associate head coach.
  • Trail Blazers rookie forward Nassir Little experienced a syncopal episode (fainting) on August 12 while attending an optional practice in Orlando, the team tweets. He was diagnosed with dehydration and further tests have been negative. He will remain with the team and undergo precautionary health monitoring for two weeks. Little has appeared in 48 games, but none during the restart.
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16 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Porter, Harris, Barton, Bryant, Little

  1. x%sure

    MPJ can’t learn how to not be stiff on the perimeter. Hate to be the guy. But despite that and absences of Harris & Barton, Denver should win after jumping to a series lead while Conley is off somewhere petting a baby or sitting alone.

    MPJ is like Pozingus, he should ideally be a center, to avoid costing points. MPJ is actually better, can rebound.

    • Simmons>Russ

      MPJ is 6’10 he’s not like Porzingis and he definitely doesn’t have the size to play centre. Imagine him being dominated by Gobert this series.

      MPJ came up a big SF and that’s where he should stay. He’s more like KD. Can shoot the 3 ball, get off hard to contest mid range shots and is learning/developing a defensive game.
      I think eventually the Nuggets will need to decide is this young team going to be worth paying a huge amount of a tax bill for or are they going to need to make some trades?
      For now I like now Malone is playing MPJ and letting him learn. I just hope they slowly turn down his minutes as the playoffs continue cause so far in this bubble he’s played lots of minutes and coming off a big injury they should be careful

      • x%sure

        He can’t defend SFs, regardless of where he likes to shoot from. I see no development there. 6-10 is big enough for whatever. Not sure if his back allows him to gain weight but he’s not winning with speed, so strength should be his direction.

        The playoffs are a bit late for learning… they barely won… they need their two starters back.

        • Simmons>Russ

          He’s more likely to learn how to defend SFs compared to bigs IMO. Like you said he will struggle to add weight with his injury issues and I think in turn will struggle to add muscle. So he’s better off learning how to use space, position himself and get lower to get quicker. Similarly to how a lot of euros play D. Not in your face or quick but with good IQ and awareness. KD does a great job on defence as a tall SF and he’s never really added weight or much muscle to his frame.

          • x%sure

            He did close out deep okay, and got some calls. Good signs. Utah seemed to have better things to do than go after him.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Of course that’s a silly exaggeration, but all those who thought that a Lakers/Bucks Finals was a foregone conclusion can see now that was an extremely premature thing to expect. Both teams looked terrible today.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Bucks look sluggish. Have not been the same team. As before bubble. I can’t see them losing to Magic. But the Heat series will not be a given. No hm court advantage. I have Bucks and Clippers lols. Bucks better come to play against Heat.
    CJ healthy I said this would be a series. Like Barkley said on TNT. Blazers didn’t even play well. Both teams didn’t shoot well. What was painfully obvious. Is the guard play. I said Lakers needed all to guard Dame n CJ. This is where no Rondo n Bradley will hurt. Is JR coming back soon. Cause they need bodies. Collins is a big part of this team. Especially against Lakers, good teams. I saw a team that has no fear of Lakers. Their guards played bad. No way they win without production from their guards.
    I hope all the Dame haters were watching. He is taking over with Bron.
    Can’t believe Thunder lost with no Westbrook. They blew big opportunity there. Rockets showed up. Gotta give them credit. So glad we get to watch playoffs. Very thankful for this. In these times.
    Thank you NBA .

    • wagner13

      I think the Bucks are having some issues transitioning to “postseason mode” after stepping off the gas and resting throughout the restart. They should be set in the long run, but it’s certainly not a given they make it to the Finals. The Heat, led by Bam and Butler, are a feisty bunch with reliable perimeter shooting from Herro and Robinson. Toronto has Siakam to challenge Giannas, some veterans with championship experience, an up and coming all-star in VanVleet, and an excellent coach in Nurse. They both pose as viable threats to Milwaukee, so the Bucks will need to step up their game

      • El Don

        Is it just me but I feel like Siakam had an extraordinary month of November but since then he has been pretty poor the whole season, really disappointed in him so far.
        LBJ had a monster game, that guy is unstoppable, way too fast for CJ to stop him. Next year LBJ will be as good as this year or even better, make no mistake about it!

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