Speed of play catches Porter off-guard

Speed of play catches Porter off-guard
July 9, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Otto Porter needs to get up to NBA speed

Even for an elite draft pick such as Otto Porter, it takes time to figure out the NBA’s nuances.

The Wizards were just 29-53 last season, but they play at an almost break-neck pace that is unique to Porter, the No. 3 overall pick from Georgetown.

“It didn't go what I thought it would go like,” Porter said after his first practice Monday. “The way you think about the first practice, it was something you didn't expect.”

And that wasn't with the Wizards’ A-team. Porter has four days of mini-camp before a roster of 15 travels to Las Vegas for summer league. The first two games, against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday and the New York Knicks on Sunday, will be televised live on CSN at 4 p.m. ET and replayed at 7.

In his second full season as coach, Randy Wittman is preparing the 6-8 Porter for what’s ahead. He’s expected to flourish as a two-way player, a quality scorer at forward who can defend his position as well as guards. Porter is playing with summer league invitees such as Sundiata Gaines and Josh Boone, both of whom who have NBA experience.

If he thinks this is fast, wait until he takes the floor with John Wall for the first time when training camp begins in a few months. Bradley Beal, the starting shooting guard, was in attendance and watching. He won’t play with the summer league squad because he’s still recovering from a stress injury to his lower right leg. Before he came on in his rookie season to average almost 14 points per game, it took him a while, too.

“It was different but just like any other new coach you got to get used to him, used to what he wants,” Porter said of Wittman. “His system, you want to get out and run more. The system where I’m from, its more slow-paced. But I've got to get back to my high school days always running. It’s not that bad.”

Porter is getting re-acquainted with Beal. Both are from Missouri. Both played together coming out of high school in the Jordan Brand All-Star Game. Both were No. 3 overall picks. Beal is entering his second season.

“I was picked for a reason to come here and produce,” Porter said. “(I’m) just trying to pick up on little things, defensive rotation, what your teammates going to do, the coaching style and just the speed of the game. I want to get used to that.”