Surprisingly, Marcin Gortat hasn't found his footing in the Wizards' new offense which gives him more space to operate in the low post. Whether Bradley Beal is lost for any significant time or not because of a left shoulder injury, this is the spot for Otto Porter to assert himself even more going into Tuesday's game at the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Overshadowed in Saturday's sloppy 114-99 loss at the Atlanta Hawks is Porter's career-high 23 points.
Gortat, who viewed himself as the third option behind John Wall and Beal in the offense, has yet to score more than 10 points in a game and has just one double-double in six games. The post-up opportunities aren't there while Porter is averaging 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in his first season as the starting small forward.
"I felt like we felt too comfortable," Porter said after he shot 8-for-12 in Atlanta. "We didn't execute. Kept (having) careless turnovers. Shot ourselves in the foot. We got to focus on it a lot more. We got to do it as a collective. Not being in the right spots. It's simple things like that whether it bounces off your foot. Simple things that we can control. In the next couple games we're going to focus on that a lot more."
The Wizards should find out Monday exactly what's wrong with Beal's left shoulder. He had a violent collision in Saturday's game in the fourth quarter and left before the final buzzer.
As the No. 3 option, Porter's production is sufficient though more would help take the pressure off the backcourt. He has reached double-digit scoring in half of the Wizards' games.
If Beal's injury turns out to be serious, he'll have to do more.