Everyone talked about getting Otto Porter more touches this season. He, himself, said he was going to be more aggressive with the ball in his hands. He talked about shooting with the indiscrimination of Klay Thompson this year at Media Day.
“That’s definitely going to be a goal of mine, just to be ultra-aggressive,” Porter said.
Yet, none of that has come to be this preseason.
Porter has been the same player we’re used to. Through five preseason games, his true shooting mark is at 73 percent and his effective field goal mark is at 68 percent — he’s looking as efficient as ever.
Yet, his usage rate matches Ian Mahinmi’s at 15.7 percent despite him being the starting unit’s most efficient player. Other players ahead of him? Jeff Green, Kelly Oubre, and Markieff Morris, just to name a few key rotation players.
There are many questions that come out of this. It isn’t scheme anymore—Porter has had numerous opportunities to actually bring the ball up and initiate offense. He’s been more of a focal point this preseason and the coaching staff has made it a point to run plays for him early on.
So how does this happen? There’s no way Porter should have the same usage rate as the team’s backup center. Either his teammates aren’t getting him the ball enough or he just simply isn’t being as aggressive as he needs to be.
Fortunately enough, it’s still just the preseason. The Wizards have time to figure out what they need to do to get Porter more involved and Porter has more time to figure out how to be aggressive in the offense.
Plus, the sample is still small and while plenty of what the Wizards were doing should carry over into the regular season, it’s likely that there will be continued tweaks to the offense and the schemes as time goes by. Porter should get more looks.
There’s another silver lining here. Through his five starts in the preseason, Porter is shooting 8.5 threes per 100 possessions and they account for more than half of his shot attempts. That’s an increase of 2.2 attempts per 100 possessions from last season. He’s letting threes fly, which is always a good thing, and maintaining efficiency as he does it. But he can always do more and he’ll need to do it over a longer span in the regular season.
But the bottom line is this: The team is going to shoot a lot more threes this season. They may end up breaking franchise records if their penchant for taking threes stretches into the regular season. Porter is the team’s best three point shooter, even if he isn’t their most aggressive. But for the strategy to work, he’s going to have to become that. If he does, the Wizards’ offense will be incredible. If he doesn’t, they’ll have a ton of work to do.