Wizards

Terps' Vellano, Furstenburg selected preseason All-ACC

826443.png

Terps' Vellano, Furstenburg selected preseason All-ACC

More preseason accolades for Maryland defensive lineman Joe Vellano and tight end Matt Fursteburg, this time from those scribes that know them best.Vellano and Furstenburg were selected to the 2012 Preseason All-ACC Football Team, the league announced Wednesday. Vellano, a consensus first team All-ACC2011 selection,received 58 votes for the 2012 Preseason All-ACC team, third most among defensive players. Previously the senior and 2011 All-American had been named to the preseason watch lists for five national awards: the Bednarik, Lombardi and Walter Camp Awards, and the Bronco Nagurski and Outland Trophies. Furstenburg. who started all 12 games for Maryland last season, was earlier named to the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award, which honors the nations top tight end. At his position last season,Furstenburg finished third in the conference in receptions per game (2.6) and receiving yards (348).Voting for the 25-man team was conducted by media in attendance at the ACC Football Kickoff.Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, the lone unanimous selection among the 68 ballots cast,was pickedPreseason ACC Player of the Year.

Quick Links

Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

Otto Porter's status in doubt for Game 6 against Raptors

There appears to be at least some chance the Wizards will be without starting small forward Otto Porter when they host the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of their first round playoff series on Friday night in Washington.

Porter, 24, continues to deal with a right lower leg strain. The injury is located on the outside of his calf and will require further testing from the Wizards' medical staff to determine his status.

Head coach Scott Brooks addressed the media on Thursday and did not rule out an MRI.

"We don't know as of yet, but he's banged up. So, hopefully we will find out some good news and see how he feels tomorrow," Brooks said.

Porter first suffered the injury on April 10 against the Celtics in the Wizards' penultimate regular season game. He missed the regular season finale, but has appeared in all five games of the Wizards-Raptors series.

Brooks did not make it seem likely that Porter will miss Game 6, but expressed uncertainty.

"Anything is possible," he said. "We hope for the best."

Porter appeared hobbled in Game 5 and has at other times this series as well. After the first two games of the series, Brooks was asked about Porter's health and said that he was "100 percent." It's unclear if Porter suffered a setback in the time between, but clearly that isn't the case anymore.

Porter is averaging just 10.0 points in this series, down from his 14.7 per game season average. Ideally, the Wizards would be getting more than that from their third scoring option.

"We need Otto," Brooks said. "We need Otto to be more of a nine or 10-point scorer for us to win this series."

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

WIZARDS COLLAPSE LATE IN GAME 5, OTTO LOOKS BANGED UP

WIZARDS HAVE TO FIGURE OUT DEROZAN AFTER GAME 5

WALL IS BOYCOTTING DRAKE'S MUSIC DURING SERIES

Quick Links

If this year is going to be different, the Caps cannot go down 0-2 in the series again

If this year is going to be different, the Caps cannot go down 0-2 in the series again

In last year’s playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals won two out of the last three games and three out of the last five…and still lost the series. That’s because they lost both Game 1 and Game 2 to fall into a 0-2 hole, much like they did against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round this season.

The Caps know if this year is going to be different, they cannot afford to fall into a similar hole again.

“It's always harder to dig yourself out of a hole,” head coach Barry Trotz said after Thursday’s morning skate. “You're room for error is a lot less and it wears on you.”

“If we've learned anything from last year, you lose two it's tough to climb out of that,” Jay Beagle said. “Then this year first round, lose two, it's tough to climb out. It makes the series really hard. You always feel like you're chasing and no room for error.”

It did not cost them against Columbus as Washington was able to rattle off four straight wins to advance to the second round. Overcoming a two-game hole against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions, however, is a taller task.

For only the second time in franchise history, the Capitals were able to overcome a 0-2 series deficit when they did it against the Blue Jackets. That means it doesn’t happen very often.

Chances are you won’t be able to overcome a deficit like that against Sidney Crosby and Co.

And that’s what makes Game 1 so important.

Washington is at home, opening a series against their arch rival, the Penguins will be without both Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin and the game will be played with the memory of how a 0-2 hole cost the Caps the series last year.

To call it a must-win would perhaps be an overstatement. It is a best of seven after all. But it’s still not that far off.

“We've got to just make sure we're looking at game one, we're not looking ahead,” Beagle said. “We've got to go after them in this first game and really try and take it to them in our rink.”

RELATED LINKS: