You know that roll Otto Porter seemed to be on after missing the start of the season with a right hip flexor strain? Well, forget about that for now. Porter, the No. 3 overall pick for the Wizards in the 2013 draft, hasn't played any serious minutes in about a week. The Wizards are only going three-deep into the bench.
If the Wizards (18-19) hadn't blown out the Miami Heat by 17 points Wednesday, Porter never would've stepped on the court for the final 54 seconds. Porter hasn't made more than one field goal in a game since Dec. 30. He is averaging less than two points, less than two rebounds and less than one assist.
Porter's chances of being selected to the Rising Stars Challenge for All-Star weekend next month, when a collection of rookies and sophomores square off with each other on Saturday before the main event Sunday, are slim. In the last two games, wins vs. the Chicago Bulls and Heat, not playing Porter, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely has worked.
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By comparison to Porter, No. 2 overall pick Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic), who attended nearby DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Md., is averaging 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
But Oladipo is on a 10-29 team and the minutes are there. He started the season healthy and ahead of veteran Jameer Nelson. The Magic know they aren't a playoff team and have no expectations. Porter is playing behind veterans Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza. The Wizards have playoff aspirations and have high expectations. Despite being sick vs. Miami, Ariza held LeBron James to 8-for-18 shooting.
"He's going to be fine. He's going to be a good player in this league," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Porter. "It's unfortunate how it had to have started. ... There's no worry in my mind that he was the right guy for us. There's no question in my mind. I never second-guessed that part of it. He's going to be a good player in this league. Right now, with Martell and Trevor playing the way they are, it limits that a little bit. That's nothing against him or what he's going to be able to provide for us. That's a good thing for a coach."