Wittman pleasantly surprised to see Porter practicing
Forgotten among the returning players for the Wizards this week is Chris Singleton, who practiced for the first time since he had surgery in September.
Singleton, who didn't have the fourth-year option on his rookie deal picked up by the Wizards last month, joined Otto Porter and Trevor Ariza at Verizon Center on Monday. He actually played 1:05 to end the second quarter in Tuesday's 116-111 win vs. Los Angeles Lakers.
The 6-8 forward didn't overly impress the coaching staff in the Las Vegas summer league, but he thought he'd made progress. He might not ready to play significant minutes yet, but as expected he touched the court sooner than Porter.
"I thought Chris, from a conditioning standpoint, was pretty well far along," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said earlier this week. "I was really impressed with what I saw."
Singleton comes off the bench, behind Nene and Martell Webster who provide more of a scoring punch.
"I'm always in shape," Singleton said. "That's something I don't have to worry about. It's just genetics. Since I was young I've always been able to run. If I stay off my legs a month or two, I always come back in shape."
Singleton rode an exercise bike to get fine-tune his wind. He began doing drills and pushing off his foot, which required a screw to be inserted, about two weeks ago.
There was a more energized atmosphere around the Wizards when they appeared to be almost at full-strength. Then Bradley Beal went down with a stress reaction in his right leg. Getting Porter back on the floor could help ease that.
"It definitely was an intense practice, especially for Otto. We were happy to see him on the court," Singleton said. "We were excited. Hopefully, it translates into the game, helps the team out."
Even though there have been a lot of personnel changes since Singleton last played, he doesn't see his role being any different. Rebound, defend and hit the occasional open shot will go a long way to securing him a spot in Wittman's rotation.
"It's been hard," he said. "But I had time to get my shot right."