It pains me to say that the NBA Conference Finals have been disappointing so far. I’m not sure we could have predicted the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat each taking 3-0 series leads. But, here we are. And, we’ll be heading west as we lock in one of our favorite NBA Props for Monday night’s action.
The Los Angeles Lakers are likely playing their final home game of the season tonight — tip-off is at 8:30 ET. And, despite dropping three straight, Los Angeles enters tonight as 3-point favorites.
If Denver wants a real chance to close the Lakers out this evening, they will need another big game from their supporting cast. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray have been spectacular. However, Michael Porter Jr. has quietly been excellent and should continue to thrive in a secondary role behind Denver’s stars.
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NBA Props for Monday (5/22)
Michael Porter Jr. Over 2.5 Threes Made (-120 @ FanDuel)
Michael Porter Jr. has been phenomenal when healthy over the last few years. And, this postseason has been no exception.
Most importantly, MPJ’s shooting has been instrumental in spacing the floor for Denver’s offense. He’s knocking down 2.8 three-pointers per game in these playoffs, shooting 41.9% from downtown.
On a round-by-round basis, the 6’10” sharpshooter has been ultra-consistent. Against the Timberwolves, he made 2.8 threes per game, shooting 42.4% from deep. He hit 2.3 threes per game against the Suns, shooting 37.8% from downtown. And, in the conference finals, he’s shot 47.8% from three, hitting 3, 4, and 4 shots from outside.
MPJ has seen more than 30 minutes of action in nine of Denver’s postseason games thus far. In these contests, he’s seen an incredibly steady stream of three-point attempts.
Porter Jr. has taken at least 6 threes and made at least 2 threes in all nine of these games, averaging 3.4 per game.
This is exactly what the Seattle native has done all season long. In 55 games where he has seen at least 28 minutes, Porter Jr. has knocked down 3.4 threes per game on 7.7 attempts. He’s converted at least 3 threes in 40 of these 55 games, good for a stellar 72.7% hit rate in this large sample.
If we take a look at MPJ’s four games against the Lakers seeing big minutes, nothing changes. He knocked down three-plus shots from outside in all four games, averaging 3.5 makes on 8.3 attempts.
The 24-year-old has been excellent in transition and Denver’s half-court sets. But, thanks to his 6’10” frame and long arms, he’s proven time and time again that he can shoot over any Lakers perimeter defender without a problem.
MPJ has benefitted greatly from the extreme attention Los Angeles has thrown at Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, while Denver’s playmakers have found him for plenty of open (or open enough) corner and wing threes.
The fourth-year pro has seen at least 31 minutes in every game this series and has played 33.9 MPG over his last 12 games. So, with a 3-point spread, I’m looking for MPJ’s role and volume to remain large enough for him to get plenty of looks from beyond the arc in Game 4.
With Aaron Gordon struggling to score in this series, Porter Jr. has become an essential fixture in Denver’s offense thanks to his size and shooting. With at least 3 threes made in 23 of his last 30 games seeing 30+ minutes, I love MPJ’s chances of lighting it up from deep as the Nuggets aim to clinch a spot in the NBA Finals.
Have fun playing our best NBA Props for Monday and Join us for the rest of the NBA playoffs!