Bank on Porter
‘The Truth’ might not have called bank, but Otto Porter Jr. answered, depositing change into the Washington Wizards account. Without the flick of Wall’s wrist in the playoffs this series, the Washington Wizards needed to withdraw from their savings. And Porter delivered, calling upon fundamentals stashed in a bank of his own.
Small forward Porter Jr. has brewed a potent potion for the Wizards without the ball sorcery of guard John Wall in their roster, his infectious play a helpful remedy for the team. During the regular season, Porter averaged 6 points, .9 assists, and 3 rebounds—a role player playing his role in the already deep roster. But during the postseason, in particular the series against the Atlanta Hawks, Porter has emerged—providing the medicine to ailing line up as John Wall’s ‘right hand’.
The series, which began on May 3, has been guided by the improved play of the small forward—a strong sign for the Wizards going forward in the series. The first match up, Porter contributed 10 points, 11 rebounds, and an assist. He gave his team more than the usual; the significant increase in his numbers proved pivotal to the Wizards game play while starting forward, Nene, was lax in production. He provided a cushion for both Wall and Beal, forcing the defense to sit at home upon penetration.
Following Wall’s injury in game 2, Porter attempted to bandage the wound in the lineup; a firm application of pressure on the defensive end still led to loss. Porter, with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 5 assists proved valuable yet again. His defensive presence forced turnovers, his energy pestering the Hawks. Porter went 2-3 from beyond the arc, forcing the defense to stretch their play at the opposite end of the floor.
In game 3, Porter effectively filled the void in the roster, voiding any criticism. His high energy and production off the bench made injured teammate, Wall, get off the bench, exalting in celebration. Porter spaced the floor, creating opportunities for teammates to create off the dribble. Porter moved effectively without the ball; his back door cuts cut into the heart of the Hawks defense, clipping their wings. With 17 points, 9 rebounds, and a block, Porter blocked any questions about the strength of the draftee’s potential. Porter, contributing so many positives to the Wizards roster, has a future nothing short of positive—bank on that.