Physical play shakes up Wizards' rookies

Physical play shakes up Wizards' rookies
July 13, 2013, 6:45 pm
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First impressions of Otto Porter's debut

LAS VEGAS -- The rookies didn't shoot well, and predictably the Wizards quickly fell apart. 

They lost their summer-league opener to the Golden State Warriors 56-52, but in these exhibitions the final score takes a back seat to execution and continuity. 

In their first game, 2013 draft picks Otto Porter (3-for-13) and Glen Rice (3-for-12) didn't have it. While they had moments where they showed how they could help a team looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008, those were fleeting. 

For Porter, it was in the first quarter when he made a step-back jumper and then used his 6-8 frame to deflect a pass and led to a jump shot for Jan Vesely.

For Rice, it was a spot-up three-pointer that put the Wizards ahead 39-37 in the third quarter after trailing throughout, a pump fake that led to a thunderous dunk and defensive pressure that forced a backcourt violation.

“This first game, it’s just learning,” said Porter, the No. 3 overall pick. “You got to go through that stage. I’m not beating myself up or anything.”

The Wizards had more turnovers (21) than field goals (19) in a game that proved to be the lowest scoring (108 combined points) in Las Vegas summer league history.

"It was our first time playing together," Rice said. "It'll only get better. We're not too concerned about that."

Chris Singleton and Vesely had four turnovers each. Sundiata Gaines and Marquez Haynes, both of whom are trying to make an NBA roster as free agents, had three each.

The Wizards were uneasy in half-court sets from the opening tip. It was a physical, grueling game with hard fouls and bodies bouncing off the Cox Pavilion floor. 

"I think the whole team wasn't ready for the intensity. It was a little more physical than they thought," said Singleton, a 6-8 forward entering his third season. 

Bradley Beal and John Wall were in attendance to watch their new teammates. The best advice Wall could give is to shake it off. 

"I watched him a lot at Georgetown," Wall said of Porter. "He missed a couple of easy shots. ... It's just one game. You got to move forward."

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