Since Martell Webster missed another practice with a sore back and is being called a game-time decision by the Wizards vs. the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, Otto Porter could be in line to log more minutes behind starting small forward Trevor Ariza. Webster didn't practice Tuesday but felt good enough to get up shots. Not this time.
Porter's ability to hit the open shot, something he has had trouble with all season until he made his first three-pointers as a pro in Monday's loss vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, will determine how long he's able to stick.
"Our concepts, it comes with playing, whether you read the defense right and stuff like that," Porter said of his understanding how to play in coach Randy Wittman's system. "It's definitely coming the more I play."
Porter is averaging less than two points and two rebounds after being taken No. 3 overall in in the June draft. He has appeared in just 26 games. He played 10 minutes vs. Memphis and scored six points.
While it seemed at one time that he could be optioned to the D-League's Iowa Energy and follow rookie Glen Rice, and Wittman has talked about it, CSN Washington has reported since January that was unlikely to happen barring a change in circumstances such as Al Harrington and Chris Singleton, also forwards, sustaining a high level of play.
"I never thought about D-League," Porter said. "They send Glen down, they can send me down, too."
The fact is, however, that Webster can be injury-prone. He had two back surgeries before he initially signed with the Wizards for 2012-13 and had surgery to repair an abdominal tear last summer. As Wittman sees it, Porter isn't going anywhere at least in the big picture.
"It's been tough," Wittman said. "I'm not worried about who Otto is. We've got to continue to work with him. he's got to stay ready. Just like that who knew Martell was going to walk in here and have a bad back on Monday night. That's all it takes sometimes. ... Otto is going to be here a long time, I have a feeling."