Clearly, Martell Webster feels responsible for helping out rookie Otto Porter, who was thrust into action in the last game when he went down with a left ankle sprain. Maybe that's why Webster is trying his best to come back quicker than expected, possibly Monday night, for the Wizards when they play the Denver Nuggets (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).
In 14 minutes vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, Porter had no impact. His first move with the ball was a traveling violation. Then he fouled. Then he shot an airball on his first attempt. Porter didn't aggravate the right hip flexor strain that had kept him out all season, but he didn't try to assert himself again after such an awful start.
Webster saw a tired team that erased a 15-point deficit but wilted and lost in overtime. It wasn't the ideal situation for Porter to get his feet wet in the NBA.
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"You put a heavy burden on a rookie to come in," said Webster, who exited to end the first quarter vs. Milwaukee. "It's just not there yet. I was talking to Otto ... helping him understand its seldom that somebody ever just gets it right away. Unfortunately for him, he's put in a situation like that where he hasn't had a chance to get comfortable with that. He's injured, then all of a sudden he's playing and they expect something. I tell him never feel any pressure. You're a rookie. I understand all the adrenaline and all the emotions that you have while you're out there. You should realize it's part of the process."
Porter sought out Webster, who in his ninth season, for advice: "He actually came to me and talked to me about it. ... This is what you're going to go through. It's an obstacle. It's a roller-coaster ride. But the most important thing is to go back and look at your film and to see how guys were playing you and understand you're going to have to develop counters for the way that they're playing you because those are where your shots are going to be."
Coach Randy Wittman already has said Porter's minutes won't be impacted by Webster's availability. His conditioning isn't there yet and the Wizards are afraid of him getting the hip re-injured.