Otto Porter didn't exactly pick up where he left off. When he last appeared in a game for the Wizards, he'd shot a compiled 7-for-26 in three consecutive losses to the Atlanta Hawks which led to playoff elimination. Tuesday, he looked like the No. 3 overall selection in the NBA draft.
The projected starting small forward coming into the season and one of the Wizards' better performers in training camp, Porter made 8 of 10 shots, including all four of his three-pointers, for a game-high 22 points in a 129-95 preseason opening win vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. And he did it in just 24 minutes of play.
"It was just John (Wall) finding me. Being in great position where I can catch and shoot, knockdowns, cut to the basket or whatever," Porter said. "I have the freedom to do that now. It feels good.
"We got a lot of playmakers on the team. With the new offense, running out in transition it opens up the floor. It gives you enough time if the defense is closing out you can shoot it or drive by them. You just got a lot of options now, just flowing and moving the ball."
The Wizards are playing more in flow, bypassing play calls and running a glut of pick-and-rolls and drive-kick plays. It's pressure offense that puts the defense on its heels and makes the Wizards less predictable. They have the pieces to run it, though Kelly Oubre, Jared Dudley and Alan Anderson sat out with injuries.
"Otto had, start to finish, as good as a game you can play," coach Randy Wittman said of the third-year player who is expected to fill the void left by Paul Pierce's departure. "Activity, hands on balls, forget about the shots he made. Being in position, his knack for being in the right place at the right time whether it's offensively or defensively, his reads and cuts to the basket."
RELATED: WIZARDS LET IT RIP FROM DEEP IN WIN
Marcin Gortat was out of sync. He has to find a way to fit in the new offense, but Porter's performance blew him away.
"He looked good," Gortat said. "There's no pressure. We play freely and try to use our chances and he was outstanding today. He was aggressive. He was attacking. He was having fun cutting, shooting the ball well."
Garrett Temple had seven points, nine rebounds and seven assists. This style of offense suits him, too.
"You just push the ball and wherever you end up make sure you get to the right spots and just play from there, whether it's a pick-and-roll or attack into a drive-and-kick game. I think we did a good job of executing especially that being our first game."