Home Sports Michael Porter’s NBA bubble: Crazy theories, breakout performances

Michael Porter’s NBA bubble: Crazy theories, breakout performances

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Michael Porter Jr. is the controversial young star breaking out in the bubble.

The 22-year old previously came under fire when he spread meritless coronavirus conspiracies, saying it was used to “control” the population. In Orlando, however, it’s Porter who has been in control.

The No. 14 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Porter missed all of last season while recovering from back surgery. He broke into the rotation this year, averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds before the league went on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He’s exploded in the bubble, however. He scored 37 points and recorded 12 rebounds in a 121-113 overtime win over the Heat on Monday, shooting 75 percent from the field and 67 percent from three. He followed that up with 30 points and 15 rebounds on 58 percent from the field and 56 percent from three in a 132-126 win over the Spurs on Wednesday.

Porter joins Trae Young and Blake Griffin as the only rookies since 2000 with back-to-back 30-point double-doubles.

Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr.Getty Images

“For me, it is all about energy,” Porter Jr. said after the game Wednesday. “So, I knew even if (Wednesday), I am not going to shoot the ball amazing every night. But every night I can get on the glass, I can be active, I can be back on defense. That is something I got to bring every single game. And when I do that, it just opens up the rest of my game.”

In a Snapchat Q&A last week, Porter told followers that he believed there were larger forces driving the COVID-19 response.

“Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda,” Porter said. “It’s being used for population control in terms of being able to control the masses of people. The whole world is being controlled.

“You’re required to wear masks. And who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out. You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. Like that would be crazy.”

Porter received ample criticism from fans on social media for voicing the unsubstantiated claims. It landed him a talk with Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly, but head coach Mike Malone emphasized that he did not want to “muzzle” anybody.

After his slow entry into the lineup this year, Porter served mainly as a role player for the playoff-bound Nuggets and provided scoring off the bench. He played just 14 minutes a game before the break, and his career-high was 25 points.

He played 25 minutes and scored just 11 points in the team’s 125-105 loss to the Heat – Denver’s opening game in the bubble. He urged Malone to stick with him and give him minutes, however, and played 44 and 36 minutes in the next two games.

The Nuggets are also without three starters – Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Will Barton – which has afforded Porter extra playing time.

“I think the greatest challenge for any young, talented player like Michael Porter is consistency,” Malone said after Wednesday’s win. “’Can I bring that level of play every single night?’ Michael Porter, along with everybody else on our roster and coaching staff did not do a good job in the Miami game… People are reporting that I singled Michael Porter out. I didn’t single anybody out. I singled us out.”

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