Damian Lillard impressed by Michael Porter Jr.’s preseason debut
Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. had a strong preseason debut after sitting out his entire first year due to back issues, posting nine points and three rebounds in a short stint, all while impressing Damian Lillard while at it.
Lillard sat by his injured teammate Jusuf Nurkic, recalling a quick exchange from the center and the rookie swingman:
“He shot his shot and Nurk said something like ‘Aw, that’s off,’” said Lillard, giving his account of the exchange, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic. “And he looked at Nurk, and then the next time we were talking about a coverage and (Porter) was like ‘Yeah, they better switch it’ and something and I was like…”
Lillard playfully shook his head, noting he came away impressed with Porter’s performance, despite that spirited back and forth between the rookie and his teammate.
Porter shot 4-of-7 from the field in 17 minutes, playing as confidently as a rookie coming off a major injury can.
“I thought he looked good,” said Lillard. “The ball comes off his hand pretty easy. He seemed really confident… you see the belief is there. So I see him being pretty good.”
This could wind up being an embarrassment of riches for Denver, who not only have a major part of their core returning this season, but also acquired Jerami Grant in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder and now boast an impact rookie that can come off the bench and contribute.