SAN FRANCISCO – Otto Porter Jr. is on track to start the next round of the playoffs after he was sidelined at the end of the Warriors series against the Grizzlies due to a pain in his leg.
Porter was a full participant in Monday’s practice at the Chess Center and was seen shooting after some of his teammates left the court on Monday afternoon.
“He looked good,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Just talked to her, she said she felt good.”
Porter is “likely” for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Mavericks, Kerr said.
Porter missed the last game and a half due to pain in his right leg during the Warriors’ Game 5 blowout defeat on Wednesday night. He was slowly working to recover from the injury, doing some light court activity, including agility drills and shooting, but Monday was his first full practice.
Mike Brown, who served as the Warriors head coach in Kerr’s absence, said recently that he was not sure whether Porter’s leg trouble was the result of a play in particular or a post-season break. was the result.
Porter and his aggressive comeback were key to the Warriors’ success in the first four games of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the Grizzlies. He averaged 6.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in five matches off the bench in the previous series.
Porter wasn’t able to contribute during Game 6 on Friday night at Chase Center, but the Warriors managed to stop the young Grizzlies from advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in three years. The Warriors will host the Mavericks for Games 1 and 2 of the conference finals starting Wednesday, before the series moves to Dallas.
Porter has suffered multiple injuries throughout his career, but increasing pain in his right leg appears to be a new issue. The last time he injured his right leg was in 2018.
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Kerr was not surprised to see the Mavericks wipe out the Suns by 33 points to advance to the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.
“They are one hell of a team,” Kerr said. “Dallas was really impressive, played a perfect game and they would come here with a lot of confidence, I’m sure for Game 1.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic captured the seven-match series against the Suns, averaging 32.6 points, 9.9 rebounds, seven assists and 2.1 steals per game.
Golden State has faced two tough defensive assignments in each of the first two rounds: league MVP Nikola Jokic and Memphis All-Star guard Jaa Morant. Doncic is their next tough matchup.
It looks like neither team has found a way to stop Doncic, so it will be important to limit damage from the Mavericks players around him, including Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finn-Smith.
“It’s a tough matchup,” said Stephen Curry. “We clearly know that we have to be prepared at both ends, and we have to stick to our game plan and understand that things can change because once we get to what we like in a playoff series, Things can change if you get better experience. Game after game.. You’re in the finals of the Western Conference, you get it, try to defend the home court like we’ve had this playoff run so far and are off to a good start.
The Mavericks’ defense could spell trouble for the Warriors struggling with turnover.
“They’re a really good defense, it’s an underestimated aspect of all of us,” Kerr said. “You see the switch ability, they have versatility defensively, the strength of the guys… they have a really good modern defensive lineup that they can throw at you.”