After an explosion during the seeding games, Denver Nuggets rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. cooled off to begin the postseason. While the uber-talented 22-year-old did show flashes, including a 28-point game, in the first round against the Utah Jazz, the Nuggets deployed him for fewer than 40 total minutes in the first two games against the L.A. Clippers. On Monday evening, though, Porter Jr. excelled in the first half of Game 3, scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds, and those positive contributions set the stage for an earth-shattering moment in the third quarter.
With the Nuggets holding a one-point lead, Porter caught the ball on the right wing, drove to his left and rose up to punish Montrezl Harrell for his attempt to draw a charge. The result was a devastating dunk, with all kinds of reaction from Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller on the TNT broadcast.
MPJ put his defender on a poster and his Dad was loving it 😤 pic.twitter.com/03ypolcCPl
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) September 8, 2020
DON'T DO HIM LIKE THAT, MPJ pic.twitter.com/EIZ3cOeaho
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 8, 2020
It should be noted that Porter Jr. leaned into his youthful inconsistency with a pair of mishaps immediately following the dunk. Still, this was a reminder of what he can do as a 6’10 forward with vertical athleticism, and Porter Jr. also puts pressure on opposing defenses with a fluid jump shot and the ability to find teammates when prompted to do so.
In a back-and-forth game played at the highest level of the sport, one play (and exactly two points) from Porter Jr. likely won’t swing the outcome. Still, this was one heck of an exhibition from the rookie, and Porter Jr.’s dunk was one of the more memorable highlights from the NBA Playoffs to this point.