The assignments don't get any easier for Wizards forward Otto Porter. In Tuesday's game vs. the Indiana Pacers, he'll be seeing a lot of Paul George who is playing better than ever since missing most of last season with a broken leg.
Porter already has seen Carmelo Anthony (Knicks), Kevin Durant (Thunder) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) twice.
“Watching film to see what I did that worked, see what I did that can do different," Porter said of how he prepares for these kinds of matchups. "Each game I’m watching film.”
Based on what coach Randy Wittman has done 10 games into the season, there's a good chance that rookie Kelly Oubre could make an appearance. He didn't play in Saturday's win at the Detroit Pistons, but at 6-7, being long and athletic on the wing is an asset as it can give Porter more rest and George a different look.
George is averaging 24.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game and shooting 42% from three-point range for Indiana (8-5). This season he's playing more at power forward, however, which would create a matchup problem with Kris Humphries. Coach Randy Wittman might have to adjust his lineups accordingly.
It's because of matchups like George why the Wizards (6-4) opted to trade up in the 2015 draft for Oubre rather than keeping Jerian Grant, a guard, who was dealt to the Atlanta Hawks before finding a home with the Knicks.
Porter was drafted No. 3 overall in 2013 for the same reason. Trevor Ariza was going to become an unrestricted free agent and no depth at this position guarantees little or no postseason success, or no postseason appearance at all.
It has taken Porter two seasons to get to the point that he's in now, as one of the NBA's most improved players and a reliable third scoring option for the Wizards. The projection for Oubre is about the same. And with Porter and Oubre being on rookie scale contracts they're filling that need at minimal cost for now.
But none of this means that'll be enough to stop George. After failing to break 20 points in his first four games, no one has.