LAS VEGAS -- The similarities between Otto Porter and Glen Rice, the leaders of the Wizards' summer league team here, end with them being rising second-year players.
"Otto is not a kind of guy that you can throw him the ball and say, 'Go score.' You've got to put Otto in a set because he plays the game the right way," said Sam Cassell, an assistant coach who is in charge of a roster of mostly free agents heading into Tuesday's game vs. the Miami Heat at Thomas & Mack Center. "Glen Rice, on the other hand, you just throw him the ball and say, 'You go get a basket,' and he'll find a way to get it."
Porter led the Wizards with 25 points in their first exhibition vs. the Atlanta Hawks. Rice led with 20 points vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. They won both games.
While Porter, the No. 3 overall pick in 2013, will command most of the attention, Rice's role shouldn't be overlooked. He's in more line for playing time as the backup to Bradley Beal at shooting guard. Martell Webster is out for at least five months after back surgery which creates even more space for Rice, a second-round pick who the Wizards traded for but didn't play after surgery to his right wrist in December.
Rice, assumed to be a stretch-the-floor three-point specialist like his father who carried the same name, hasn't been able to show consistent accuracy from deep. But he loves attacking the basket and finishing through contact. And the Wizards like his defense and effort.
"We did a lot in training camp, Sam and coach Al (Harrington) came in there and told me told me to attack and be aggressive," Rice said after Sunday's game with Minnesota. "Guys are little more physical here than should be. I go out there and took it to the basket and got a couple of fouls called."
In two games, Rice has scored 42 points on just 24 shots. The reason? He has been to the foul line 23 times, making 18 of them.
Trevor Ariza leaving for the Houston Rockets impacts Porter more than it does Rice when it comes to playing time. It actually clears the way for more despite the Wizards acquiring Paul Pierce, who'll be 37 when the season begins, in free agency.
"He was definitely a mentor for me all last year. He's the one who taught me things. I'd see him in the gym 24-7. That's kind of what drove me. You don't want to see him go," Rice said. "It is going to give me a little more opportunity. I just got to take what he taught me last year and put it into this year.
"The main thing he taught me was work ethic. That goes before practice, after practice, during the game. He was always working. That's why he was so successful last year."
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