Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter finally outplayed Carmelo Anthony on Thursday night after getting bullied by the All-Star for years.
Coming out of Georgetown as the third overall pick in 2013, Otto Porter was considered a jack of all trades, master of none.
His mid-range game has always been reliable, he moved very well without the ball and helps on the glass. Porter, in many respects, embodies a traditional role player – someone who makes significant plays, but doesn’t always get the spotlight nor recognition on the boxscore.
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This season, though, Porter has started to blossom.
For some reason, pundits believed Porter had a low ceiling. Since he lacks explosion and rarely makes a highlight worthy play, Porter tends to fly under the radar.
He’s starting break through that invisible ceiling, becoming the second most productive player on the Washington Wizards‘ roster.
Averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds on 52 percent shooting from the field, Porter has quickly emerged as a legitimate threat in the Washington Wizards’ offense. Porter is second on the team in total points scored, steals and rebounds.
Perhaps most importantly, Porter is starting to show signs of legitimate growth on the defensive side of the floor.
His offensive production was inevitably going to come.
It was just a matter of finding a rhythm and confidence.
Defense is what’s going to separate him from the other wing players in the league that are starting to break through.
On Thursday night, Porter held Carmelo Anthony – one of the best scorers to ever grace a basketball court – to 19 points on 17 shot attempts.
Porter scored 21 points on 14 tries from the field.
In their six prior meetings, Anthony had averaged 27 points and 7 rebounds, completely dominating the Washington Wizards’ young small-forward.
He bullied Porter inside, often taking advantage of his size and shooting over Porter without much resistance.
Porter, on Thursday, held his ground and didn’t allow Anthony to get into his sweet spots. He knocked the ball out of bounds on post-ups and didn’t give him much room on the perimeter.
While Porter still gives up a ton of size, at least in terms of weight, he’s figured out how to position himself correctly so the offensive player doesn’t get clean looks. He’s finally realized how to use his length to deflect passes and make it difficult for players like Anthony to get easy feeds in the post.
After the game, Scott Brooks spoke about Porter’s toughness.
“Otto played well. The thing I loved about Otto, he competed. He competed against a Hall of Fame player who is hard to guard. He is not just tough for our team and our building. He is tough everywhere,” Brooks said.