Quick Links

Scott Brooks says the Wizards need Otto Porter to be more aggressive on offense

Scott Brooks says the Wizards need Otto Porter to be more aggressive on offense

Otto Porter is often praised for his ability to impact a game without the ball in his hands, as he can help the Wizards win without needing the touches John Wall or Bradley Beal get.

But sometimes that deferential mindset can backfire and Monday against the Bucks was one of those times if you ask head coach Scott Brooks.

Brooks certainly said as much after their 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. When asked if the Wizards need to run more plays to get Porter open, Brooks took it in a different direction.

"We would like to see Otto get more [shots], but Otto needs to help himself get more," Brooks said. "The bottom-line is that Otto needs to get himself open and be ready to catch and shoot and get more shots."

Point guard John Wall is on the court with Porter very often and he sees it similarly.

"We just have to do a better job at getting Otto the ball, but he’s also gotta do a better job himself at just being aggressive when he gets it," Wall said.

Porter, who finished with just eight points in 31 minutes on Monday, attempted only eight shots. Three of those were from three-point range and he missed each of them. He did have six rebounds, three steals and two assists, but Porter knows he can be more valuable as a scorer.


Porter is currently not providing much as the Wizards' third scoring option. He is averaging just 8.9 points in his last seven games, well below his 13.9 points per game season average. During that stretch he has shot just 37.7 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from three.

Porter, though to be fair, did miss a game on Jan. 6 with a right hip strain and tight back, a combination of injuries he has been dealing with periodically in his career. Though he missed only one full game, Porter explained after Monday's loss how it is still affecting him, now four games back from the absence.

"I know I've only been out a [game], but I'm trying to slowly get back mentally and physically to where I was," he said. "I'm just trying to get back into rhythm. The more you play, the more you get into rhythm. I'm trying to get back into my niche with John, Brad, [Markieff Morris] and Marcin [Gortat]."


The biggest difference, Porter said, is that he doesn't have his legs back. He isn't able to get the same burst coming off screens in the halfcourt set and isn't up to full speed running the fastbreak with Wall, Beal and the rest of the Wizards' team. Wall is one of the best in the NBA at finding guys open shots in transition and Porter usually feasts off those opportunities. At this moment, he isn't able to like he normally does.

Porter has been working on his core strength to combat the stiffness and discomfort that comes from his hip from time to time. And as part of that recovery, the Wizards' coaching staff is trying to limit his minutes when they can.

When Porter is on the court, there are certainly ways the Wizards can help him get more shots by running plays with him in mind. But, as Brooks tells it, Porter has to take advantage when they do run those plays.

Porter seems confident it will just take time for him to get back to 100 percent, but the Wizards would like to see him be more aggressive.


Quick Links

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.


Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:


The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 


Quick Links

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

Whoever put together the NBA All-Star Game player introductions has some 'splainin to do. 

The NBA introduced a kinda-full Staples Center to their 2018 All-Stars about an hour ago, and boy was it weird. There were a lot of dancers in different themed costumes. Kevin Hart was screaming. Rob Riggle was screaming. Ludacris showed up? Hey! Did you know that the Barenaked Ladies are still a band? The NBA would like you to know they're still around.  The whole thing was like when you're at an art museum and you're told that abstract piece in the corner is actually really meaningful but you gotta be honest, you don't get it. 

Anyways, the internet hated it. Here are some highlights from the internet hating it:

The lesson here is that you never need Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle. One will do.