Best NBA Finals Player Props: Can Michael Porter Jr. Bounce Back?
The NBA Finals continue on Friday night with Game 4 in Miami. After winning going away in Game 3, the Nuggets will try to all but slam the door on the Heat. I’m subbing in for Josh Lander tonight on NBA player props.
Nuggets At Heat: NBA Player Props
Game 4 looms as close to a must-win for Miami. If they win, the series heads back to Denver for a best-of-3. If they lose, they’ll have to sweep three remaining games including two at altitude, where the Nuggets have lost once this entire postseason. The Heat enter Game 4 as underdogs with a point total set at .
Michael Porter Jr. Over 10.5 Points (-109 BetRivers) And/Or Over 17.5 Points + Rebounds (-102 FanDuel)
Here are Porter’s core points, rebounds, and assists props for the game against the Heat:
- Points: Over/Under /
- Rebounds: Over/Under /
- Assists: Over/Under /
Much-discussed in the discourse of the NBA Finals thus far have been the intense struggles of Michael Porter Jr. He has a 30.6 eFG% and has tallied a piddling 21 total points.
His scuffling reached its nadir (one would hope) in Game 3 with a 1-for-7 performance in which he scored 2 points. Coach Michael Malone opted to limit his minutes in response. He wound up only playing 21 as rookie Christian Braun took a starring role.
Another Game, Another Opportunity
Despite Porter’s benching, the team is still clearly making a concerted effort to get him involved and boost his confidence. The offense ran several plays for him early in the game only for Porter to miss some good looks. He bricked a couple of wide open 3s that looked like they had a chance to get him on track in Game 4.
And despite his struggles shooting the ball, Porter has maintained his focus and energy in other areas. He’s still contributing on the boards, with 8.7 per game even in reduced minutes. And he had several solid possessions defending Jimmy Butler, bothering him with his length. On the broadcast, Jeff Van Gundy immediately called this out, noting that Porter was probably the team’s second-best option for defending Butler.
The thing is, the Nuggets find themselves up 2-1 in the NBA Finals precisely because of things like rebounding (58-33 in Game 3) and defending Jimmy Butler (20.7/4.3/6.7 averages, down from 27.3/6.6/5.9).
Denver’s coaching staff knows this. Thus, it’s hard to imagine Porter will continue to lose meaningful minutes if he shows any life on offense whatsoever.
Betting On A Porter Rebound
Denver doesn’t have the depth to simply put Porter on ice and hope someone else steps up in his stead. Flavor of the day Braun has been in and out of the rotation all year. He isn’t a good shooter (35.4% from deep on a low volume). He remains a longshot to contribute anything seriously meaningful.
The Heat actually present a pretty good matchup for Porter even if you wouldn’t know it by his play so far. They allowed more 3s than almost anyone in the regular season per Cleaning The Glass. And their defensive focus remains the paint, especially with Nikola Jokic dicing them up. They’re trying some “help and recover” tactics that have allowed some good looks from deep. Denver just keeps missing them.
Since Porter shot more than half his attempts from long range this year, he should be among those getting some clean chances to fire. Like his teammates, he just hasn’t converted. But, he has shot a strong 38% for his career. He’ll get them to fall eventually.
And Miami’s much-discussed lack of size has helped Porter clean up on the boards.
Between (hopefully) inevitable shooting regression and continuing to face smaller Heat groups, I like buying low on Porter both in the points and rebounds columns.
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