Michael Porter Jr. Throws Shade At Nuggets Coach For 4th Qtr Benching

Head coach Michael Malone is searching for answers as his suddenly struggling Denver Nuggets have hit a rough patch, losers now of three straight games. In Sunday's loss against the Brooklyn Nets, small forward Michael Porter Jr. was benched for nearly the entire fourth quarter, and he wasn't happy about it. 

"(Coach) sat me the whole fourth and put me in with 20 seconds left, I think. So, I mean it’s impossible to catch a rhythm then." 

In his own defense, Malone said he was looking for more defense. 

"[Porter] had a really good first half shooting the ball, but everybody in the third quarter played poorly, wasn't just Michael Porter Jr.," Malone said. "Everybody struggled when you get outscored 37-18. Then the group that was in there in the fourth quarter played well. I rode with that group. I thought Christian Braun's energy - - in 11 minutes, seven points, three rebounds and had some really good defensive possessions. When you're down like we were, you're looking for a spark, you're looking for somebody to give you some life, and I thought Christian did that.

"Listen, last three games our defense has been non-existent. I'm looking for guys that can guard. Christian has shown all year long, any chance he's been given to play, he's gone out there and done that."

Porter finished the game with 23 points, three rebounds and four assists on 9-of-13 from the field and 3-for-5 from long range. 

On the season, he's averaging 17.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, but as intimated by Malone, his defense can be problematic.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports