ORLANDO – Simplicity defines much of Otto Porter Jr.'s game. He runs, fills the wings and shoots open threes in rhythm when he gets a touch. Porter had a straightforward response.
Porter said of his 19 points and 5-of-6 shooting from the three-point arc, his best of the season, in Washington's 119-100 loss in Dallas. "Trying to play good defense, staying solid, trying to bring that energy that we need because we're desperate and we get to play desperate every game from now on. We got to come out and play desperate. "
Now, if it was only that simple for his teammates.
Although shoddy defense has ascended to the top of the Wizards' woes in their 2-8 start, three-point shooting continues to the team.
"It's a broken record. "Coach Scott Brooks said" We got to play better in a few different areas on the defensive end, and we got to shoot the ball better from the three-point line. "We really have good shooters that have not really hit their strides yet shooting the ball."
In the preseason when the Wizards could start from the real games began. The Wizards rank 26th in the NBA at 31.3 percent. What's more, they can not make the shots even when they're open.
As a team, Washington attempted the sixth-most three-pointers while a defender is at least six feet away, defined as "wide open" by NBA.com. The Wizards are shooting just 32.4 percent on those looks.
"We got a lot of wide-open shots," Porter said. "They're just not falling. I feel like we're going to be.
On Tuesday against the Mavericks, Porter did not particularly care who was in front him. Porter made three of the four shots that were defended and six of the 11 shots that were considered open wide, according to NBA.com.
"I know that he can make," Brooks said. "The shots that he works on, the shots that I believe he can make and our team believe he can make, and it was good to see it go through. No matter how good you are as a shooter, you get down on yourself. And Otto's is not different from the great shooters in the league history. It's good to have him make some of those shots. "
Porter, broke out of his slump by returning to what he does best. No Wizards player more than one in the game of Porter (3.01 miles), and he played the most out of 49 touches, behind three other starters. But Porter carved out opportunities for himself. After grabbing a defensive rebound, he pushed the ball to take a shot. He missed both attempts, but Brooks applauded the initiative.
"There's not one time I'll look offensively and say, 'You know, why'd he take that shot? Why was he aggressive in this moment? "" Brooks said. "And he needs to be a good team going into the next set of games. He needs to play like he did [against Dallas going] forward. "
Porter felt his game in Dallas was a good start, not quite a breakthrough. He'd like to shoot a few more games before the end of a slump. And Porter believes it's just a matter of time before the other shooters on the team can say the same.
"If we keep taking the open shots, they're going to go in eventually. There's no doubt it, "Porter said. "It's a long season. They're going to start going in. "
In almost any other NBA city, Scott Brooks would have to worry about his job. Not in Washington.
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