Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Junior has officially been listed as probable for game 3 of the NBA Western Conference semi-finals against the Phoenix Suns. He is suffering from a back injury and has played through pain in the first two matches.
The Denver Nuggets are losing 0-2 to the Suns, who have produced some smooth basketball so far and are looking set to bulldoze past their opponents. NBA MVP Nikola Jokic starred in the Nuggets’ victory over the Portland Trail Blazers but has been found wanting support against the Suns so far.
The combination of Facundo Campazzo, Austin Rivers and Monte Morris has shot at a combined 26.6% until now, with the Denver Nuggets struggling in the absence of their second-best offensive player in Jamal Murray. While Jokic and co. hope to return from two games down, Michael Porter Jr.’s possible absence is another cause for concern.
NBA 2021 Playoffs Round 2: Is Michael Porter Jr. playing tonight against the Phoenix Suns in game 3?
Michael Porter Jr. is expected to play a role against the Phoenix Suns in game 3 despite struggling through “back tightness” in the two games so far. Porter was especially poor with his shooting in game 1, as he shot at just 23.1% despite being the joint second-highest scorer for the Nuggets after The Joker.
He was better in game 2 and finished with 18 points and 4 rebounds whilst shooting at a decent 57%. Michael Porter Jr. was instrumental in the Denver Nuggets’ fightback in the last two matches against the Portland Trail Blazers in round 1, and had 52 points and 17 rebounds while shooting at 62.5%.
With the Nuggets needing to improve on both ends of the court, Michael Porter Jr. is expected to play a crucial role. The Phoenix Suns were in red-hot form in game 3. They finished with a shooting efficiency of more than 47% from the 3-point zone, and had 6 players scoring in double-digits, with three of them ending with double-doubles.
Hence, Michael Porter Jr. is expected to be involved in game 3 despite having a slight back injury. The Denver Nuggets are instead missing PJ Dozier, apart from Jamal Murray, but Michael Porter is expected to start game 3.