Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Kevin Porter Jr.’s play thus far in 2019-20

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. celebrates with fans after scoring. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. celebrates with fans after scoring. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Porter Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. defends on-ball. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Taking a look at Porter’s defensive play

What makes Porter even more promising is his two-way potential.

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While Porter does need to improve off the ball and have better feel in regards to close outs to shooters as a rotator, that’s something that he can improve on with more experience in coming years, and to me, his defensive rating of 113.2 is somewhat misleading.

Porter has also had some tough matchups on a number of occasions, as he’s appeared at the 3 for 76 percent of his minutes, per Basketball Reference, which has been mostly a result of Dylan Windler not playing at all this season due to a stress reaction in his left leg/complications with it.

Even so, though, Porter has shown the ability to get after opposing ball-handlers at times, and when he’s not over-extended, he’s gotten better at staying attached to deter drivers.

Off the ball on a number of instances throughout games, he’s also jumped passing lanes and gotten deflections and/or steals, leading to transition opportunities going the other way, where’s he’s made good decisions and finished well.

Thus far in 2019-20, KPJ has had a robust 1.4 steals per-36 minutes, and with his traits and athleticism, and strong hands, I firmly believe Porter, if he can stay healthy, can develop into perhaps being the Cavs’ best defender in the near future.

Though again, Porter does need to get better at getting through off-ball screens to contest shooters, and he does need to get better as an interior rotator, which is understandable, his recognition and ability to contest even near the rim with his timing and athleticism have often jumped out.

Frankly, a defensive box plus-minus of minus-0.6 is pretty encouraging for such a young player that only started four games in his one collegiate season at USC.

He again does need to improve and be more consistent off-ball, though, and trim down on his fouls (5.7 per-36).

Porter’s defensive grade thus far in 2019-20: B

Lastly, I’ll briefly hit on the overall grade, of which you’ll know.