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Otto Porter mastering the analytical world's favorite long shot

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Otto Porter mastering the analytical world's favorite long shot

Based on distance and location, the corner 3-pointer offer tremendous bang for the buck. Otto Porter's production from those spots in the postseason is paying dividends for the Wizards.

When it comes to shots from beyond the arc, one 3-pointer location trumps them all. "It’s a bedrock principle of modern NBA offense that the corner 3 is one of the more desirable shots in the game," an author for NylonCalculus.com, a basketball analytics website wrote during the season. 

At a basic level, the corner 3-ball is simply closer (22 feet) than those elsewhere around the arc (can extend to 23 feet, nine inches). The tucked away spots also tends to be an open as defenders collapse on action inside and veer toward players up high.

The second-year forward shot a credible 35 percent from both the left and right corner during the regular season. However, he only attempted 46 from both spots combined in 74 games played (0.6 att).

Both the accuracy and volume of tries has more than ticked up during the postseason. Porter is 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) in seven playoff games (1.7 att) with an equal split from both corners.

Overall, Porter is 11 of 24 (5.8 percent) from beyond the arc in the postseason compared to 33.7 during the regular season.

Porter's current role remains more complimentary than lead. He's not initiating the plays, but seeking ways to help ensure success. In his case, that runs the range of relentless movement in pursuit of hustle plays or, in regards to the corner looks, standing still after finding cracks in the defensive alignment and waiting for the kick out pass.

Both of Porter's threes in Saturday's Game 3 win came from the corner. In the first quarter with the Wizards leading 17-14, Porter, defended by Hawks wing Kent Bazemore, starts high on the right wing before dipping inside as the other four Wizards are above the foul line. Eventually the ball is feed on the right block to Marcin Gortat, who passes to a lane-cutting Bradley Beal. As the ball moved, Porter drifted into the left corner while Bazemore went into free safety mode, staying put in the lane. Double teams come for Gortat and Beal, who avoids traffic with a pivot and pass to a waiting and wide-open Porter. 

On the second bomb, Porter starts the play as the inbounder on the right wing. He moves gently above the arc as passes go to Beal and then Ramon Sessions on the right wing. DeMarre Carroll's Porter's primary defender, ventures inside to help guard Gortat down low.

Seeing an opening, Sessions turns the corner with powerful lefty dribbles and blows by Hawks guard Dennis Schroder. Atlanta center Al Horford cuts off Sessions' path and Carroll moves further into the lane. 

Meanwhile Porter mirrors Sessions' movement and starts moving toward the right corner. Before reaching Horford, Sessions throws a pass toward that spot with Porter in mind. Gortat, now between Carroll and the corner, picks the forward, giving Porter time to catch and fire.

Knowing how to take advantage of open corner 3-pointers is one thing. Making them is another. Porter is doing both right now for the winning Wizards.

[RELATED Last-minute adjustment delivers Paul Pierce's game-winner

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

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Celtics and Sixers may go relatively unchanged this offseason, as stars have gone elsewhere

The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.

As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.

This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.

Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.

The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.

Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.

There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.

The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference. 

The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.

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Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards set introductory press conference for Dwight Howard

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?