Wittman and Porter on whether the rookie can start
The Wizards haven’t made the playoffs in five years, but the addition of Otto Porter might put them over the top.
Porter, who was chosen third overall in Thursday’s draft, initially wouldn't commit to guaranteeing that the Wizards would make the playoffs.
Then the 6-8 small forward changed course.
“With the talent that we have, with the leadership we have, I think we can make that run next year,” said Porter, Big East Player of the Year after his sophomore season at Georgetown.
The Wizards had a miserable season because of injuries to almost every significant player on the roster, including John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene, Trevor Ariza, A.J. Price and Martell Webster.
Wall missed the first 33 games of the season with a stress injury to his knee. Nene had foot, knee and shoulder ailments. They finished tied for 11th in the East at 29-53.
But under coach Randy Wittman, the Wizards played hard. They allowed the eighth fewest points in the league, joining teams such as the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder in the top 10. The Wizards were the only non-playoff team among the lot.
Adding a defensive stopper like Porter should only make them better.
“I can defend faster twos (shooting guards) or defend bigger guys,” Porter said. “There’s nothing that I haven’t did before. I did that in college and in high school.”
Wittman suggested that Hoyas coach John Thompson III's tutelage has molded Porter into his kind of player, one who can score enough to help the NBA's last-ranked offense but doesn't mind getting his hands dirty on the other end.
“I knew nothing was going to be given to me easily. I had to work hard for it,” said Porter. “I feel like being under coach Thompson definitely allowed me to explore my game to be(come) a complete ball player.”