Michael Porter Jr. started in his first game  for the Denver Nuggets against the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. Head coach Mike Malone was impressed by the 21-year-old's performance, though he emphasized he has always believed in the talent that MPJ possesses.

In their 120-115 victory over the Kings, Malone fielded Porter Jr. in the absence of the injured Gary Harris. In 26 minutes of action, Porter Jr. had 19 points, six rebounds and one assist for the Nuggets.

“I didn’t expect those numbers, but I knew that if he was given minutes and a chance, he’s just too talented and the game comes too easy for him, especially offensively,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said, per Nuggets reporter Eric Spyropoulos.

To recall, Michael Porter Jr. sat out in the entire 2018-19 season to fully recover from his back injuries. Coupled with the issue of regaining his confidence and learning how to play ball in the professional ranks, Porter Jr. was faced with the challenge of finding his role in a stacked Nuggets roster.

Malone, however, is fully aware of how challenging this endeavor has been.

“He’s coming along and I appreciate how patient he’s been, since it has not been easy,” Malone added. “He gets a chance to start and I was excited for that opportunity for him and he went out and played great. This is just a glimpse of what’s to come.”

His breakout game in relation to Malone's comments about his attitude signifies that MPJ has the makings of a great player. This is definitely a welcome sign for Nuggets fans. Denver entered the ranks of the elites last year even without Porter Jr. in the picture, but now the 21-year-old is on the rise, the future looks bright for the team.