When two teams combine to barely crack the 100 point barrier, does anyone really win? Technically the Washington Wizards lost today, 56-52, to the Golden State Warriors, and that score wasn't a result of good defense as much as it was terrible offense. The guards for both teams were particularly bad and the main culprits here. Otto Porter played some shooting guard and, unsurprisingly, struggled to make plays off the dribble. Sundiata Gaines was unable to make up the difference and, as a result, this was a game of two teams trading garbage buckets, layups and lucky shots.
Here are a few takeaways.
Otto Porter looked good at everything other than creating quality shots with the ball. Even the few shots he made were more a product of luck than skill, as no one expects him to be able to hit turnaround fadeaway jumpers off the dribble as a pro. That said, he's going to get most of his points within the flow of the offense and the more structured the game is, the better he'll do. Having John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene Hilario on the court will help him a lot, especially when it comes to getting shots at the basket when his man leaves him to play help defense.
Chris Singleton looked bad early on and did a lot of things with the ball that he won't be asked to in the regular season. He put up points and played plus defense, though, and most importantly appears to have spent time working on shot faking and driving to the basket. He looked more fluid than normal today and took less time gathering himself between the pump fake and the actual drive once his defender bites. He still doesn't have a midrange game and most of his turnovers and missed shots happened when he was attempting to play inside the perimeter. In his defense, he did manage to make a couple of nice pull up jumpers just outside of the paint. With his length and high release point, he should be able to get that shot off a lot assuming he becomes good enough at it that it's worthwhile.
Jan Vesely looked great today. He didn't box out and fouled more than you would like, but other than that, this was a very impressive outing for him. He looked confident, smooth and even hit a couple of jumpers. He also made a couple of nice defensive plays and did a good job of protecting the rim. It could have been the weak beard he was rocking, but he also seems to have cut his body fat. He still can't catch a pass going to the basket to save his life, though.
Glen Rice, Jr. was pretty much what the scouting reports said he was: Quick to take threes and capable of throwing down some nasty dunks. He also displayed some tunnel vision with the ball but, considering the lack of talent around him, it's understandable. He also took a terrible shot when the game was winding down and Washington was still in a position in which a win was possible, but he should at least get props for wanting to take the shot.
Sundiata Gaines looked bad. Really bad. He made bad plays, took bad shots, forced bad passes and more or less stunk up the joint. He's played much better than this in the past and it could be that he's trying to do too much. He's more athletic than people seem to realize but unless he can learn to shoot, he really won't have any role with this team, even as a third stringer.
The rest of the team was pretty unremarkable. None of the other guys stood out and, at least based on what I saw today, it's unlikely any of them will even get anything more than a training camp invitation.