Otto Porter is often praised for his ability to impact a game without the ball in his hands, as he can help the Wizards win without needing the touches John Wall or Bradley Beal get.
But sometimes that deferential mindset can backfire and Monday against the Bucks was one of those times if you ask head coach Scott Brooks.
Brooks certainly said as much after their 104-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. When asked if the Wizards need to run more plays to get Porter open, Brooks took it in a different direction.
"We would like to see Otto get more [shots], but Otto needs to help himself get more," Brooks said. "The bottom-line is that Otto needs to get himself open and be ready to catch and shoot and get more shots."
Point guard John Wall is on the court with Porter very often and he sees it similarly.
"We just have to do a better job at getting Otto the ball, but he’s also gotta do a better job himself at just being aggressive when he gets it," Wall said.
Porter, who finished with just eight points in 31 minutes on Monday, attempted only eight shots. Three of those were from three-point range and he missed each of them. He did have six rebounds, three steals and two assists, but Porter knows he can be more valuable as a scorer.
Porter is currently not providing much as the Wizards' third scoring option. He is averaging just 8.9 points in his last seven games, well below his 13.9 points per game season average. During that stretch he has shot just 37.7 percent from the field and 20.8 percent from three.
Porter, though to be fair, did miss a game on Jan. 6 with a right hip strain and tight back, a combination of injuries he has been dealing with periodically in his career. Though he missed only one full game, Porter explained after Monday's loss how it is still affecting him, now four games back from the absence.
"I know I've only been out a [game], but I'm trying to slowly get back mentally and physically to where I was," he said. "I'm just trying to get back into rhythm. The more you play, the more you get into rhythm. I'm trying to get back into my niche with John, Brad, [Markieff Morris] and Marcin [Gortat]."
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The biggest difference, Porter said, is that he doesn't have his legs back. He isn't able to get the same burst coming off screens in the halfcourt set and isn't up to full speed running the fastbreak with Wall, Beal and the rest of the Wizards' team. Wall is one of the best in the NBA at finding guys open shots in transition and Porter usually feasts off those opportunities. At this moment, he isn't able to like he normally does.
Porter has been working on his core strength to combat the stiffness and discomfort that comes from his hip from time to time. And as part of that recovery, the Wizards' coaching staff is trying to limit his minutes when they can.
When Porter is on the court, there are certainly ways the Wizards can help him get more shots by running plays with him in mind. But, as Brooks tells it, Porter has to take advantage when they do run those plays.
Porter seems confident it will just take time for him to get back to 100 percent, but the Wizards would like to see him be more aggressive.
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