NUGGETS

MPJ has fascinating answer on load management and playing 82 games

Sep 27, 2022, 2:41 PM
Michael Porter Jr....
(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. played just nine games in the 2021-22 season.

His potential is incredibly high, but yet another back surgery cost him another year. Porter averaged just 9.9 points in the nine contests, a far cry from his 19.0 per game during the 2020-21 season.

This year is go time for the Nuggets and Porter. Expectations are incredibly high and for the first time in a long time, everyone is healthy entering a season. The team gathered for media day on Monday, and the health of Porter and Jamal Murray was top of mind.

While both guys say they’re good to go for the upcoming season, it’s unclear how much each will play. Murray could absolutely sit out some games for load management reasons, while Porter says that’s not something he wants to do. When asked about potentially missing games, Porter had a strong answer.

“I would prefer to play 82. I don’t think taking the careful route with players is the way to go, but you definitely want to be smart,” Porter said. “That time comes from recovery you do off the court.”

Essentially, Porter is saying it’s up to him to get his body right. And sitting out games isn’t the best use of his time or in the best interest of the team. He elaborated on both of those points.

“I don’t think skipping games is the way that you save your body. You gotta respect the game. You should play when you can play and help your team win as many games as possible,” Porter said.

It’s not like Porter has ever played 82 games in an NBA season. Although he did manage to play 61 of 72 during the COVID shortened 2020-21 season. It’s nice for him to have high expectations for himself, but until he proves it by playing night in and night out, right now it just sounds like a lot of talk.

Porter, Murray and the back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic start their season on October 19 in Utah. It’ll be the first of 82 tests for the entire roster.

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