Former Tigers ballin’ in the bubble
Two Missouri alumni have been representing the Zou well during the NBA restart
The four-month hiatus of NBA play finally ended in recent weeks, and the NBA restart is fully underway. The break allowed many young players to spend months working and improving. While Pacers star T.J. Warren has arguably been the most shocking star in Orlando, two former Tigers have impressed in their own right.
With Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanović not joining the team during the restart due to an injured wrist, Utah has had to look elsewhere for offense outside of star guard Donovan Mitchell.
That offense has come in the form of Jordan Clarkson. He has averaged 15.6 points per game for the Jazz, who are 2-3 in the restart.
While Utah has struggled in Orlando, Clarkson has helped them offensively and contributed to keeping them in the race for the best seeding possible.
The combo-guard provides shooting from everywhere and is another ball-handler off of the bench. He has the capability to go off for 25+ any night and having players like that in the postseason will help Utah immensely.
The other Tiger that has surprised in his past few games is Michael Porter Jr. His Mizzou career wasn’t what Mizzou fans wanted, and he has shown everyone what they missed out on. Before his college career started, and pretty much ended due to injury, he was a projected number one pick and if anyone had doubts because of his hip, he is slowly silencing them.
The Nuggets have been without starters Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, and Will Barton, leaving minutes for MPJ. In his bubble debut, he had a quiet 11-point game. He then followed that up with a monster 37-point, 12-rebound game against Oklahoma City.
He wasn’t finished there, however, as he then proceeded to drop 30 points and 15 rebounds in another win, this time against San Antonio.
They then fell to Portland, but Porter still finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
He chose the perfect time to get hot as the nuggets are just a few weeks away from the playoffs, where they will see either Houston, OKC, or Utah in the first round. If they won that matchup, they would likely meet the Clippers in the second round. Denver and LAC have arguably the deepest teams in the league, and Porters abilities could propel Denver to the Western Conference Finals or further.
Mizzou fans are filled with pride while watching this restart, and hopefully these Tigers keep showing out for their clubs.