2020 has been a pleasant year thus far. Not only is this the first Denver Stiffs Mailbag of the decade, but there is a ton to discuss, especially about Michael Porter Jr.
The Nuggets star rookie scored a career-high 25 points last night on an almost perfect 11-of-12 shooting from the field. Porter’s only miss on the night came on a three-pointer, but he still found a way to go 2-of-3 from beyond the arc anyway.
In the year 2020, Porter is averaging 25 points on a 91 percent field goal percentage while also shooting 66 percent from three-point range. Not bad numbers, right? On a more serious note, Porter truly is fining this rhythm with this Nuggets team and that should put the rest of the NBA on notice.
If Porter can build on what he has done over the past week, he might just be the missing link this Nuggets team needs. Even though the Nuggets have been winning games for most of the season, they still do not quite look like the team that missed the Western Conference Finals by just one game last season.
Maybe...maybe Porter is the piece to help them get over the hump, and what we saw on January 2, 2020 could be the start of something special. Only time will tell, but it has certainly been a fun ride with Porter lately, and hopefully it will be a sign of things to come.
Now, let’s get to your questions as we kick-off the first mailbag of the decade!
During the last year the Nuggets strength and conditioning staff had MPJ switch to a meat eating diet. His entire family have been Lifelong vegetarians/Vegan & his family’s injury struggles are well documented. Did they think his diet played any part in his or there injury past?— MPJ The Future Is Now!!!! (@EAR1981_) January 2, 2020
I think diet can always play a major part in an athlete’s success or lack thereof. With Porter, switching his meal plan could certainly be playing a role in his health, which — knock on wood — has been pretty solid to start his rookie season.
In my case, diet plays a huge part in how I live my everyday life, and the same goes with an athlete. If the method you are using before is not working — like with Porter — there is almost no risk to switching it up with the hope of it improving your performance.
Porter looks really good right now, and that is a testament to all the work he has put in on and off the floor. The Nuggets and Porter are reaping the rewards right now and hopefully it continues the rest of the season.
Can we do this, then sign a FA like Jamal Crawford who can come in for an offensive sprark?— Derrick Valdez (@derrickvaldez67) January 2, 2020
I like the two-part question here, so I will answer both of them in the same response. I think the Nuggets could certainly make a consolation trade involving someone like a Malik Beasley or Juancho Hernangomez. It is just tough to pinpoint what kind of return the Nuggets could get back in one of those deal.
Beasley and Hernangomez should have a pretty good trade market as both players could be starters or at least rotational players on pretty much any other team in the NBA. It has been tough for either to crack the rotation this season, so do not be surprised if Denver does one or both players a solid and sends them to a place where they can thrive.
Now, signing a player like Jamal Crawford could be an option, but the Nuggets already have a dynamic scorer off the bench in Michael Porter Jr.. Adding a veteran like Crawford could do more harm than good and could make Denver’s bench more cluttered than it already is.
It is tough to see the Nuggets making a big trade right now, but I would not be surprised if they did so before next months deadline. The team just has so much chemistry and with Porter only getting better, bringing someone in would only affect his minutes, which is something I am not sure the Nuggets or anyone for that matter is interested in doing.
What is the maximum you'd offer to Kings for Bogdan and/or Bjelica, and to Wizzards for Bertans?— Miroslav Ćuk (@mcukmf) January 2, 2020
In both cases, I probably would not offer much. I would see if either Sacramento or Washington were interested in Juancho or Beasley and go from there. I would not give up a Jarred Vanderbilt or someone like that for Bogdan, Bjelica, or Bertans.
I’m just not sure any of those three would help make the Nuggets more of a contender than they currently are. Adding Bogdan or Bertans could just mess up the rotation, and Bjelica might just get in the way of more playing time for Porter.
Jrue Holiday is still a player I am intrigued by for the Nuggets, but I think it will cost too much to get him. I would not be willing to part with Harris and Porter, which New Orleans is certainly going to ask for, so that deal is probably not a real possibility.
People requesting Porter to start already, but this is the perfect opportunity a Ginobili esque role, right?— Derrick Valdez (@derrickvaldez67) January 3, 2020
As long as Porter is playing around 20 minutes a night, the Nuggets should continue to bring him off the bench. The Nuggets have one of the best starting units in the NBA and there is not reason to mess that up.
Even though Porter was fantastic in his first career start, he was even better in the Pacers game when he came off the bench. When Porter plays over 18+ minutes this season, good things happen, and that is what needs to continue moving forward.
When he is on the floor, Porter is producing and providing the Nuggets second unit a spark they have desperately been searching for this season. Continue bringing him off the bench and I think the Nuggets are set up to have the spark plug scorer off the bench they desperately need.