A much-improved bench has been one of the keys to the Warriors' incredible start to the 2021-22 NBA season.
Veteran forward Otto Porter Jr. signed with Golden State over the summer. The Warriors hoped Porter Jr. would give them a shooting threat off the bench. A career 47.8 percent shooter from the field and 40.1 percent from 3-point range, Porter has always been one of the league's most accurate shooters.
When he signed with the Warriors, the question that many around the league had revolved around whether or not Porter could stay healthy. The nine-year veteran has struggled with injuries throughout his career, limiting his playing time in each of his three previous teams.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr joined 95.7 The Game's "Damon & Ratto" on Tuesday evening and was rather honest in his assessment of Porter Jr.'s season thus far.
“I think the biggest surprise, honestly, is that he’s been healthy,” Kerr said. “It had been a rough couple of years for Otto. He has not been healthy. As soon as he signed his contract in the summer, he was in our training room that week and every day since. He put in the work and it’s paid off for him.
“We knew he was a good player. It was mainly, we were just trying to figure if he was going to be available and healthy. It’s just been great to see. He’s really been a fun player to coach and play with.”
In 26 games played this season, Porter is averaging 7.6 points in 19.8 minutes-per-game on 45.5 percent shooting from the field and 39.4 percent from 3-point range off the bench for the Warriors.
He has quickly become a very valuable option off the bench for Kerr and the Warriors and should have a secure role the rest of the season.