Every now and then it looks like Otto Porter has turned the proverbial corner -- think of the 17-point second-quarter he had in a recent game at the Charlotte Hornets -- as he makes things happen on both ends of the floor for the Wizards.
Then he's gone. When Paul Pierce was the starting small forward last season, his numbers across the board were similar to what Porter has produced so far:
The stats: 12.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, 46.7% FG
Offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions): 102.3
Defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions): 105.0
Net rating: minus-2.7
This is Porter's first time as a starter and his peaks can be high but the valleys really low. In fairness, he has been playing through torn cartilage in his right hip which has lingered most of the season. But that doesn't explain when he disappears on the floor with the second unit when he should be the primary scoring option. While his mid-range shooting is solid his three-point accuracy (31.7%) has taken a step back.
Porter has to be a steady third scoring option for the Wizards to dig out of the hole they're in currently. Coach Randy Wittman has lamented about Porter not looking for his shot enough since his rookie season. The Wizards were at their best in the playoffs last season when Porter was more assertive.