Porter continuing to develop in Summer League play
LAS VEGAS –- This is just the NBA summer league and wins don’t really matter when it comes to exhibitions, but they do to Wizards assistant coach Sam Cassell.
And instead of the focus being on rookies Otto Porter and Glen Rice who have yet to have breakout performances, Cassell is putting the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of rising third-year players Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely. The Wizards, comprised here mostly of free agents and rookies, are 0-2 record going into Tuesday night’s game vs. the Denver Nuggets at Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV (NBATV, 10 p.m. ET).
“Chris and Vesely, the pressure is on them. They have to play better,” Cassell said. “They’re supposed to play better and we expect them to play better for us to win games.
“It’s not about scoring. It’s the extra things, the loose balls. We have yet to win a 50-50 ballgame yet. If we continue to lose that part of the ballgame, we’ll lose games.”
Vesely, 6-11, is spending time at center. Even though he looks more fluid on offense –- a 30.8% foul shooter, he even went 2-for-2 to open the scoring in an 82-69 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday -- he’s getting bullied on the defensive end. His rotations aren't crisp. He’s not being physical enough.
Vesely is shooting 7-for-21 in two games, with 17 rebounds and eight turnovers.
“We got to toughen him up. He’s going to have to play against some stronger guys,” Cassell said. “We’re trying to find minutes for him. There’s not too many dominant post players in this league. … I’m expecting more.
“His offense is getting a little bit better but unfortunately you've got to play both ends of the court. He’s got to make the adjustment. He’s not playing bad. Being in his third year, he’s got to play better.”
Singleton, a 6-8 forward who can be physical, isn't being assertive enough for Cassell on the offensive end. He’s 6-for-18 shooting with nine rebounds, four blocks and six turnovers.
“I just want Chris to make quick decisions. Pick-and-roll, you catch, you shoot it. You drive it. I don’t want the fakes and indecisiveness,” Cassell said. “You can’t be a good basketball player being indecisive. You’re either going to do it or you’re not going to do it. Once he understands that part, I think Chris will be OK.”