According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Denver Nuggets rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. has been named to the NBA Second All-Bubble Team.
NBA’s All-Bubble teams for seeding games:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 15, 2020
First team: Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, TJ Warren Luka Doncic, James Harden
Second team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kristaps Porzingis, Caris LeVert, Michael Porter Jr.
Porter averaged 22 points and 8.6 rebounds per game over seven of Denver’s eight seeding games (he sat the final contest against the Toronto Raptors), while knocking down an average of 2.7 threes per contest at a 42% shooting clip as well. With the Nuggets wings spread thin by injuries to Gary Harris and Will Barton, MPJ has been just what the doctor ordered for Denver’s playoff run.
His performance in the Bubble vaulted him from fringe rotation rookie to clear starter and as coach Michael Malone puts it a “franchise cornerstone.” MPJ’s rise makes Denver a dark horse title contender, and if they can get healthy, their depth is going to be formidable no matter who their opponent is.
Porter falling short of first team honors shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Damian Lillard has been the clear best player in the bubble, and was named Bubble MVP, while Devin Booker also played phenomenal and led the Phoenix Suns to an 8-0 record in Orlando. Meanwhile Luka Doncic was 0.3 rebounds and assists per game from averaging a 30 point triple double and James Harden put up close to the same production. T.J. Warren has been every bit of a bubble breakout as MPJ, jumping his scoring from just under 20 a game to over 30.