NBA Summer League Wizards want Otto Porter to be more aggressive

USA TODAY Sports

Otto Porter did not shoot or play especially well in his Summer League debut, and afterwards, coach Sam Cassell said that he wants to see Porter play more aggressively.

LAS VEGAS -- Otto Porter hit his first two shots of the Washington Wizards' Summer League opener against the Golden State Warriors ... and then hit one of his last 11, often disappearing from the offense in an ugly 56-52 loss. Afterwards, multiple people with the Wizards noted that they wanted to see him find ways to be more aggressive.

"He's got to be more assertive. He's got to find some of his own offense sometimes on the court. I could run plays for him, get him shots. But if those don't work, now what?" Wizards summer league coach Sam Cassell said. "There are things he's got to do himself. He did it at Georgetown, and he can do it here."

Bradley Beal, watching from the stands, agreed with Cassell.

"I think with Otto, he was probably pressuring himself, trying to impress everybody and show everybody what he's capable of doing. But he just needs to go out there and have fun," Beal said.

Part of the struggles could be explained by Porter's role in the offense. As expected, the Wizards experimented with him, testing the limits of his versatility by often playing him at shooting guard. While he played over half the game at small forward as well, the difference may have contributed to Porter's relative passivity.

Everyone along the way, though, acknowledges that it's a work in progress. Testing a players' limits is exactly what Summer League is about, after all.

"Shooting guard. Small forward. We'll have him bring the ball up the court sometimes," Cassell said. "We're just trying to figure out the things he can do in our offense. That's why I started him at the 2 guard. Here's the thing: the 2 position and the 3 position in our offense is really the same."

Porter, for his part, acknowledged that the transition to shooting guard was "difficult," but he thinks it's something he'll eventually "be able to handle." His postgame interview seemed to indicate that he understands this is all a work in progress.

"I'm not going to beat myself up over it, but I know I can perform better next game," Porter said.

Time will tell, of course, but Porter's hardly the only rookie that struggled in his debut. Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings, for example, shot 4-23, including 1-11 from three-point range, and Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz, Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope all had their issues in Orlando.

"Of course, it's your first game in the league. That's the way it is," Porter said. "You've got to go through that stage."

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