The Denver Nuggets season came to bitter end Sunday when they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-90 in Game 7 at Ball Arena. The loss marked the end of the Nuggets quest to defend their spot atop the NBA and repeat as champions. There are a number of reasons why Denver lost the series; however, Michael Porter Jr. is placing the blame on himself after a rough stretch of play against the Wolves. Porter Jr. went as far to apologize to his teammates, according to Katy Winge of Altitude Sports.

Michael Porter Jr. is one of the key members of the Nuggets’ championship core; however, he struggled mightily throughout the second round series with the Timberwolves, scoring an average of 6.3 points per game. Porter failed to eclipse double-digit points scored in each of the final four games of the series, and was 4-for-21 from beyond the arc in those games.

Porter Jr. is set to enter into the third year of a five-year, $179 million contract he signed ahead of the 2022-2023 NBA season. There is no question Porter Jr’s. play was disappointing in the second-round series with Minnesota; however, that is the case with a majority of the Nuggets’ starters. Porter Jr., to his credit, has managed to stay healthy since Denver signed him to the lucrative contract extension, and he’s been an integral part in molding the Nuggets into a championship contender over the previous two seasons.

Porter averaged 16.7 points and 7 rebounds per game to pair with a 39.7% mark from beyond the arc this past season. He is entering the prime of his career at just 25 years old, and has plenty of room to improve his game this offseason and beyond.

It will be interesting to see how the Nuggets plan to navigate the offseason. As our Nuggets’ reporter Ryan Blackburn noted on X last night, Denver will have some serious soul searching to do as it pertains to their starting lineup and bench depth. Porter Jr’s. play is not the lone reason why Denver lost the series with Minnesota, but it is something to consider as the team moves forward into the offseason. The general expectation is the Nuggets will run it back with their current core of players; however, perhaps the recent playoff loss forces the hand of the front office.