Wizards reach .500 with win over Magic
Today the Wizards are off, but rest assured players will be at Verizon Center to get up shots and treatment to heal their sore muscles. While Bradley Beal and Al Harrington are still out, rookie Otto Porter is on the cusp of getting his first game action vs. the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
"Otto, we got to get on the floor, get after him and get him going and see where we are after these three days," coach Randy Wittman said.
Porter, the No. 3 overall pick in June, returned to practice last week after being out since Sept. 13 with a right hip flexor strain. He has been practicing, though the Wizards haven't had much time on the court after playing four games in five days last week. They won their fifth consecutive home game Monday, a 98-80 rout of the Orlando Magic.
Chris Singleton, who had missed all of training camp and the start of the season after he had surgery on his left foot/toe, played 24 minutes and had 11 points vs. Orlando to lead the bench. It was the most playing time he received in four games since his return. Beal (right lower leg) will get evaluated next week to determine how much longer he'll be out or if he can return from a stress reaction. Harrington (sore right knee) has been on the shelf since mid-November resting an old injury but could be back soon, too.
The lingering question has been about Porter, who the Wizards have avoided talking much about since he went down before training camp. That Wittman is now attaching a possible timetable to his return is significant. All season, Wittman has never brought up Porter's name and blew off any questions about his progress. At Monday morning's shootaround, before the game vs. Orlando, he mentioned Porter voluntarily. And after the game, he did it again when asked a question about Singleton.
Wittman has until Friday to assess Porter's fitness and grasp of his system. Whatever minutes he gets would be sparse, unless the Wizards are involved in a blowout.
The Wizards (9-9) have won seven of their last nine games and are at least a .500 team for the first time since 2009. If Porter doesn't play vs. Milwaukee, it appears there's a good chance he'll take the floor by Dec. 9 vs. the Denver Nuggets or four days later at the Atlanta Hawks.