The Denver Nuggets have perhaps been the most unlucky franchise in the NBA in the last two seasons. Despite having the MVP in Nikola Jokic as their main star during that time, injuries to their second and third-best players have cost them dearly. The Nuggets are hoping that those two stars, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. return from their long-term injury issues as good as they were.
Porter Jr., in particular, has always struggled with some serious injuries that have hampered his vast potential. A back injury kept him from playing in his rookie season, and he hasn't played more than 61 games in any season since. However, in 2020-21, Porter Jr. had a breakout campaign, averaging 19 points per game and playing in 61 games.
His averages kept up in the playoffs, too, he managed 17.5 points per game on pretty decent efficiency. As such, expectations from him were high going into 2021-22. But just 9 games in, nerve issues effectively ended his season. None of this has dampened Porter Jr.'s confidence in himself, though he is expecting to return at the top of his game, something he said during the Ball Don't Stop podcast.
“What’s so crazy is that I still don’t feel that way (like he’s arrived). Whatever people say I don’t think I’m where I want to be or who I want to be, so it’s like, that kind of keeps me driven. Like, them games in the Bubble, it didn’t surprise me at all. Nothing I do will surprise me till I feel like I’ve really become one of the best. I want to be one of the best. It’s about getting healthy, just keep getting better.”
Porter Jr. has shown in the past that he has the game to back up these claims he is making, so next season should be a big one for the Nuggets player. If he can continue to play at a high level on his return and Jamal Murray does, too, the Nuggets will absolutely be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference next season.