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Otto Porter mastering the analytical world's favorite long shot


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.

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

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Bradley Beal's agent says guard's not looking for a trade: 'He wants to win'

Bradley Beal, his agent Mark Bartlestein told Bleacher Report, would like to stay in Washington - even as he's a hot topic among front offices as the trade deadline approaches.

From Bleacher Report:

His agent, Mark Bartelstein, is not looking for a trade. "Brad wants to win, Bartelstein told B/R. "He wants to win at the highest level, and he wants to compete for championships. I think he's seeing progress, and he's going to do everything he can to lead this team. They got themselves into a huge hole, and he's going to do his best to get them out of it.

The Wizards are facing tough decisions when it comes to the future of the franchise as this season's trade deadline approaches. Beal, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig detailed this week, is among the most tradable assets they have, especially when it comes to their three major contracts. But owner Ted Leonsis took a firm stance against tanking while speaking to reporters in London, and Beal is integral to their playoff hopes with John Wall sidelined. 

This isn't the first time this season that Beal has denied wanting to be anywhere but DC. When drama swirled around the team earlier this season, Beal denied a report that he had requested a trade.

"That's nonsense," he said at the time. "I heard it earlier before the game and I was like, 'If it didn't come from the horse's mouth, it wasn't me.' I got this Washington jersey on and I come here and work everyday, you know, until otherwise. This is where I wanna be."

Earlier this season, it was reported that the Raptors were interested in Beal but couldn't afford what the Wizards were asking for him. According to the latest report on Beal from Bleacher Report, there are a number of teams who may still be interested. 

Again, from Bleacher Report:

There are so many teams in the mix trying to make that extra push that want Beal," a Western Conference executive told B/R.

But even if some fans are clamoring for a big trade at the deadline, the price tag for Beal - who had 26 points in the Wizards' comeback win over the Knicks this week - only seems to be rising. 


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G-Leaguer Jordan McRae who dropped 54 points could be a roster addition for Wizards

G-Leaguer Jordan McRae who dropped 54 points could be a roster addition for Wizards

Time is nearly up for the Washington Wizards to replace Ron Baker on the active roster.

Jordan McRae made his strongest push yet for the gig.

McRae, one of the Wizards’ two-way contract players, scored 54 points for Capital City Friday night in the Go-Go’s 118-107 win over the Main Red Claws. That’s the most points scored by any G-League player this season.

Makes sense this wing guard holds the distinction. McRae leads the league in scoring with 29.5 points per game.

Finding such opportunities with Washington this season has not come as easy. McRae, a 27-year-old with prior NBA experience, scored only four points in 35 minutes over eight games for the 19-26 Wizards this season.

While shuttling back and forth between the two levels since Baker’s release on Jan. 7, the 6-foot-5 guard’s lone appearance came in the final minutes of a 17-point win over Philadelphia on Jan. 9.

For now, McRae and Devin Robinson, Washington’s other two-way contract player, offer in-case-of-emergency depth. Robinson traveled with the Wizards to London for Thursday’s win over the New York Knicks but did not play.

Someone else will join the roster soon.

League rules mandate a minimum of 14 players. Teams have two weeks to reach that number should they drop below. Washington, which kept its 15th slot open all season, did upon releasing Baker.

The Wizards could and likely will fill the void by signing a free agent to a 10-day contract. Another body would not hurt.

John Wall (heel surgery) is out for the season. Uncertain recovery timelines exist for forward Markieff Morris (neck) and center Dwight Howard (back surgery).

McRae is not an option for the 10-day scenario, but he has shown a readiness with the scorching Go-Go. Capital City has won seven of its last eight games.

“He’s done a great job staying with his development on and off the court,” Go-Go coach Jarell Christian said of McRae. “He’s our leader. For him to continue to play the right way, everyone else just falls in line.”

McRae’s scoring surge comes after he sat out last season with a shoulder injury.

“It was the first time in my life being injured. Being out for a whole year, it was tough for me,” McRae said. “Being with these guys every day, going back and forth with the Wizards, it’s tiring, but its fun. It’s my job.”

Christian offered advice on the key for McRae should the Wizards eventually turn McRae’s contract from a two-way to an NBA deal and set him loose on the court.

“I think it’s just about his mentality. When he's thrown into a game on the next level, still being able to function without getting the ball every possession. Being a floor spacer and continue to play defense,” Christian said. “He’s taken initiatives in some games and become the best defender on the team. I think every team wants somebody who wants to take that initiative and become a lockdown defender.”