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Grading out: Where Otto Porter stands at All-Star break


Grading out: Where Otto Porter stands at All-Star break

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. 

Grade: C+

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.

MORE WIZARDS: Grading out: Where Garrett Temple stands at All-Star break

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7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

7 stats that define John Wall's history-making career (so far)

This week is Wall Week at NBC Sports Washington. We are rolling out content each day centering around the Wizards' five-time All-Star point guard. Today, we take a deep dive into the numbers to illustrate Wall's career in Washington so far...

**Wall's career averages of 19.0 points and 9.2 assists put him in elite company. Only three other players in league history have averaged at least 19 and nine with at least 500 games played; Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas. Only Johnson and Robertson have also averaged at least four rebounds in addition, like Wall has.

**Wall is already well-represented on the Wizards/Bullets franchise's all-time leaderboards. He is first in career assists (5,282) and steals (976), second in free throws (2,456), third in points (10,879) and minutes played (20,545) and fourth in threes made (539). He is already third all-time in VORP (value over replacement player), a cumulative stat similar to WAR (wins above replacement) in baseball. Only Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes accrued more while in Washington.

**Wall has also put up some of the best individual seasons in franchise history. He has the No. 1, 3, 4 and 7 highest assist totals with his best year the 2016-17 season when he dished out 831. 

**Wall's 2016-17 campaign was also the only season in franchise history where a player averaged 20-plus points and 10-plus assists. He has 111 20-point, 10-assist games in his career which is by far the most in franchise history. Second on the list is Rod Strickland with 43. Gilbert Arenas is third with 24.

**Wall has 396 career blocks. Only six guards in NBA history have recorded more. Those six are Dwayne Wade (885), Clyde Drexler (719), Dennis Johnson (675), Jason Kidd (450), Kendall Gill (432) and Latrell Sprewell (399). Only Johnson and Kidd played most of their time at point guard, so Wall is third all-time at his position.

**Wall's 5,282 career assists are fifth among active players. Only Chris Paul (9,181), LeBron James (8,662), Rajon Rondo (6,975) and Russell Westbrook (5,701) have more.

**Unfortunately, injuries have significantly affected Wall's last two seasons. He has played a combined 73 regular season games the past two years. For context, he has played the same amount of games as Gordon Hayward, who appeared in just one game in 2017-18. And DeMarcus Cousins, despite going through a full rehab from a torn Achilles during that time, played in more games (78) than Wall.

NBA.com and Basketball Reference were used in this research


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NBA superstar Steph Curry launching new golf program at DC's Howard University

NBA superstar Steph Curry launching new golf program at DC's Howard University

The Howard University Bison haven't fielded a varsity golf program in over 40 years.

That changed Monday, when Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry formally announced his commitment to back both a women's and men's golf programs at the historically black university for six years. The teams will start Division I play starting in 2020-21, and Curry's donation has been reported to be in the seven-figure range.

"I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University, and look forward to building their first men’s and women’s golf teams with them,” Curry said.

Curry was motivated in part by a conversation with Otis Ferguson IV, a student who gave up the chance to play competitive collegiate golf in order to attend Howard, when Curry visited the campus for the screening of a documentary in January.

That conversation was a springboard for the investment, and Curry, himself an avid golfer, hopes to leverage his relationships with brands like Callaway and Under Armour to help with equipment, uniforms, and more.

"Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,” said the NBA star.

“It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student-athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough.” Curry noted.

The creation of the program means Howard will have a Dvision I golf team for the first time in school history, and it joins only 30 other HBCU's to field the program.