How Michael Porter Jr.’s controversial comments became a turning point for Nuggets vs. Clippers
Some would argue that Michael Porter Jr.’s postgame comments after Game 4 became the turning point for the Denver Nuggets in their second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Porter’s controversial comments — which suggested that Denver needed to involve everyone more on offense to take down an elite defensive team like the Clippers — drew the ire of many, including several stars and veterans in the NBA.
Many believed issues like that shouldn’t be brought up in the media. Denver made sure to let Porter know that those matters should be discussed internally. However, they didn’t stop there. Though the public certainly didn’t like the way the 22-year-old relayed his message, the Nuggets didn’t take the comment in a negative light and let it sit. Instead, they took note of Porter’s comments and used it to make adjustments for the rest of the series.
The message was that on this stage, with a platform as large as the NBA playoffs, players needed to be even more careful about what they said in front of a camera. The point was clear: In the future, when issues come up, address them internally and not in the emotion of a postgame news conference.
After it was addressed, the meeting shifted to a film session that got at the core of Porter’s comments. The coaching staff knew there was truth to what he’d said. So rather than belabor the manner in which it was delivered, the session focused on what Porter could do to get himself more involved.
Little by little, the rookie certainly is gaining the trust of Nuggets head coach Michael Malone. Slowly, but surely, Porter is growing and learning by playing in these big playoff games for Denver.
The Nuggets will certainly need Porter’s contributions more than ever as they look to make another monumental upset by taking down the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.