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A healthy Otto Porter Jr. gears up for his sixth season
Otto Porter Jr.’s 2017-18 season ended earlier than he would have liked. Porter missed Game 6 against the Raptors after suffering an injury on the outer side of his left calf. That lower leg injury turned into a rehabilitation process for the next two and a half to three months. Porter had surgery in May and rehabbed well into June and July.
Reporting to his sixth NBA training camp, Porter has been back on the court for a few months now and feels good physically.
“The biggest thing for me was to get back mentally,” Porter said on Off The Bench last week. “I had the whole summer to physically get prepared.”
Porter was rehabbing while the Wizards made most of their new additions and transactions, signing Dwight Howard and Troy Brown Jr., trading for Austin Rivers, drafting Troy Brown Jr., and adding Thomas Bryant and Jordan McRae, among others. Still, along with those pieces, Porter’s mindset turned to finding ways to contribute towards every player’s goal: winning it all.
“We added a lot of depth, and the end goal is to win a championship. Adding those new guys, it changes everything. It’s going to be a different team than last year. What can I do to make the team better?”
Porter averaged 14.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game on 50.3% shooting overall and 44.1% from deep last season. He plans on continuing to be active, making sure he gets open and challenges his matchups on defense. He has finished top five in the NBA in the past two seasons in 3-point shooting percentage, but he’s still being challenged by Scott Brooks to shoot even more triples. The 6’8” forward also watched a lot of film this summer, focusing on defense.
"I watched tons of film," Porter said at Wizards Media Day on Monday. "I'm learning how to guard on-ball, take my angles and be able to master that. I studied Kawhi Leonard a lot, and the angles he takes. He's very strategic with how his movements are; he never seems tired. I was able to get in [better] shape this summer. There are a lot of games, so I wanted to be in the best shape possible."
In order for the Wizards to reach their full potential, Porter knows he’ll need to be more aggressive. Shooting more 3-pointers and not passing up shots will be a big part of that, as well as shooting more off the dribble and drawing fouls.
"That's definitely going to be a goal of mine, just to be ultra-aggressive. I think it's best for the team and best for me to put out that effort and be more involved and kind of be like Klay Thompson and take my shots. I'm very confident in that - I'm going to instill that in every game."
All in all, Porter understands how important his versatility is, which allows the Wizards to play lots of different types of lineups. Whether Washington goes small, 3-point shooting heavy, or any other trick Brooks has up his sleeve, Porter is confident in himself and the team that the front office put together to be tough to stop night in and night out.
“We’re going to be able to give different looks, play different styles. We have a traditional big man [Howard] who gets a lot of attention, which is going to open up a lot of stuff for us. And then we can also go small, and that can give us a lot of different looks. Especially defensively down the stretch. Our team – we’re going to be able to throw a lot of different looks at you, and it’s going to be hard to predict.”