Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. isn't lacking confidence in himself as he believes he is ready to become the second or the third leading scorer on his team. Porter, who was selected by the Nuggets at No. 14 in the 2018 NBA draft, missed the entire 2018/2019 season due to an injury but showed flashes of his talent last season when he averaged 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds.
The Nuggets, led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, were the biggest surprise in the Orlando bubble, making the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. "Yeah, I do," Porter said when asked if he thinks he can become the second- or third-leading scorer on the team.
"I want to be one of the best players," Porter later added. "And I want to guard the best players and I want the best players on the other team to guard me." In the playoffs, Porter averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and most importantly gained a big experience.
"I kind of saw everything last year," Porter said. "We played LeBron [James] in the playoffs, I played against Kawhi [Leonard], Paul George, all the best players at my position. So I feel like I have some experience now going into this season that I didn't have last year in my first year playing."
Porter wants to make a big jump
"I went from DNPs to starting on a Western Conference finals team in the playoffs," Porter added. "I learned a lot in one year and looking to carry that over to this year. I want to make a really big jump.
I've been working really hard in all the areas that I saw that I need to get better in the playoffs. I'm excited and I feel like I'm ready." Nuggets coach Mike Malone hopes Porter will turn into a big star.
"I think [he] really showed himself well in those 19 playoff games that he had a chance to play in in Orlando," Malone said. "And I think Michael Porter has a chance to be an all-league talent, and I'm excited to see what he can do this year."
Meanwhile, Nuggets guard Will Barton acknowledged: "I'm a starter in this league. I think I've proved that year in and year out being one of the most consistent players in the whole NBA. ".. I think it is clear-cut who I am in this league."