Michael Porter Jr. Called Out Coach Mike Malone For Not Running More Plays For Him

The Nuggets fell to 3-1 in their series with the L.A. Clippers on Wednesday night in a 96-85 loss, as they continue to struggle creating offense in the second half.

Denver was able to cut the L.A. lead to as few as two in the early third quarter, thanks in part to a run at the end of the first half spurred by Michael Porter Jr. off the bench in a 15-point effort. However, as the game wore on, Porter Jr. became less involved in the offense and the Nuggets’ two stars, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic were not able to produce efficiently or effectively enough to keep pace with the Clippers. Whether Porter Jr. would’ve been able to fix all of their woes is far from a certainty, as the rookie has a tendency to fall in love with isolation and can be wildly inefficient himself.

That said, of everyone else on this Denver team, he’s the player most likely to create some offense outside of Murray and Jokic, and it might behoove the Nuggets to give him some more responsibility later in the game. After the game, Porter Jr. was not in the mood to brush aside questions of his involvement in the Nuggets’ late game offense, calling out coach Mike Malone for play-calling that went exclusively to Jokic and Murray and didn’t do enough to involve him and others.

These quotes came after Mike Malone said the Clippers keyed in on Porter more in the second half on defense, which MPJ seemed to fervently push back against.

His frustration was evident in his body language during his press conference, and that came out in his quotes as well. It’ll be interesting how this goes with Malone and the Nuggets’ locker room, because while Porter has become an important piece, he is a rookie and still has plenty in his game to work on to reach the level of star that his offensive ceiling shows he’s capable of.

There’s certainly something to be said for the Nuggets getting more creative offensively, particularly in trying to attack with different pieces than just Murray and Jokic. However, critiquing the coach publicly like this isn’t often something that goes over well for rookies, and his comment about how he’ll talk to the coaching staff soon likely should’ve happened before throwing him under the bus in front of a camera.