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Damian Lillard Calls Michael Porter Jr’s Criticism Of Mike Malone’s Play Calling ‘Wrong’

Michael Porter Jr. ruffled some feathers on Wednesday evening following Denver’s 96-85 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Nuggets’ offense was, as you can tell by the final score, not good, and as a result, the team is facing its second-consecutive 3-1 series deficit this postseason. Unlike last round, the Clippers are a much taller mountain to scale than the Utah Jazz, and it’s hard to see a path that involves Denver winning three in a row.

Porter, out of an apparent sense of frustration with how things went on Wednesday, called out head coach Michael Malone’s play calling in his postgame press conference. He took two shots in the second half after scoring 15 points in the first, and told the media that it wasn’t because of anything L.A. was doing.

Malone, when asked, disagreed with this assessment.

Anyone publicly going after a coach like this is eyebrow-raising, particularly when it’s a young player whose gripe seems to be “the offense was too centered around Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.” His frustration is understandable, but there are plenty of ways to handle said frustration that is not this.

In the aftermath, plenty of individuals opined on how Porter aired this dirty laundry. One such person was Damian Lillard, who was not a fan of Porter’s tactics.

Lillard is no stranger to commenting on what he sees in the world of basketball, and while there could have been some ambiguity about what he did not like here — perhaps he agreed with Porter and was shaking his damn head at the Nuggets’ coaching staff — he clarified in his following tweets that he believed the youngster was in the wrong here.

Porter said that he’s going to speak with his coaches about all of this, so it’ll be worth keeping an eye on what his role is during a must-win Game 5 on Friday. Regardless, it’s not hard to guess what Lillard hopes they tell him as they discuss how he’ll be used for the remainder of this playoff run.

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