Otto Porter’s Time to Shine


Nov 1, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) shoots the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Otto Porter’s first season in the NBA didn’t go as well as most expect a No. 3 overall pick to go. He averaged just 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game in only 37 appearances.

But last season is the past, and the 21-year-old Porter has jumped out of the gates on fire to start the season.

The Georgetown product is averaging 12.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. His shooting statistics have increased as well, as he has hit 57.1 percent of his field goals so far this season compared to 36.3 percent last season.

Yes, it’s only been three games this season, but improvement is improvement.

More from Washington Wizards

Porter also played the best game of his young career Saturday night in Washington’s 108-97 win over Milwaukee in its home opener.

After starting small forward Paul Pierce was ejected late in the second quarter for protesting a clear path foul after already receiving a technical.

From there, it was Otto-time. Porter scored 19 of his career-high 21 points in the third quarter. The 6-foot-8 wing player made seven of his 11 shots from the floor (63.6 percent) and added five boards and two steals to go along with his career night.

On top of that, Porter was serenaded with “Ot-to Por-ter!” chants from the crowd.

While fans have continually called for more court time for Porter, there are those now who think his play has warranted a slot in the starting lineup with the absence of Bradley Beal. And I have to agree with those calls as well.

Nov 1, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman (L) talks to Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) against the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 108-97. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

But that doesn’t mean he should start over Pierce. You can insert Porter into the two position, replacing Garrett Temple in the starting lineup. Although Temple is an established defender in the league and has played in head coach Randy Wittman’s system for a few seasons now, Porter adds more of an offensive threat than Temple, something the team still needs without Beal and Trevor Ariza.

Some may point to Porter’s stats last season and say he doesn’t provide a real offensive threat. But his play during the Summer League (19 points per game) has carried over to the regular season thus far, and just from the eye test, you can see Porter is playing with much more confidence than he did in his first season.

"“I am definitely starting to see the payoff since summer league,” Porter told reporters Saturday night. “I’ve just been getting in the gym and going after my coaches to prepare for games like this and to always stay ready.”"

His size, 6-foot-8, nearly 200 pounds and a wingspan of 7’2 can cause problems for opposing offenses, especially those at the two position where shooting guards are generally shorter than a three.

But if Wittman chooses to go with Temple as the starter, Porter’s recent play has garnered him more playing time regardless. Glen Rice, Jr. remains sidelined with an injured ankle and with Martell Webster and Bradley Beal not scheduled to return anytime in the near future, Wittman has to use the third overall pick in last year’s draft like a third overall pick.

Only time will tell if Porter can live up to those expectations that come with being selected so high, but for now, he’s showing the upside is there.

–All stats gathered from and