Otto Porter wasn’t as great as he was against the Hawks, but he still showed some flashes of why the Wizards took him third overall in last year’s NBA Draft. Porter knocked down multiple mid-range jump shots en route to 13 points, but his ability to create for his teammates was even more impressive. Otto Porter seems to know how to get open, which allows his teammates to find lanes to the basket, eventually leading to easy layups. Otto Porter’s improved ball handling skills were also in display as he grabbed rebounds and took it coast-to-coast by himself on multiple occasions.
Although Porter did look good, Glen Rice Jr. was undoubtedly the most impressive player on the floor last night. Rice was billed as a “shooter” when the Wizards traded for him on draft-day last season, but he’s shown much more versatility than I expected. Glen Rice Jr. got to the free throw line 16 times against the Hawks, but he followed that up with an even more impressive performance against the Timberwolves.
Whenever the Wizards needed a basket, Rice found a way to score. Glen Rice Jr. scored 13 points in the first quarter, and finished the game with 20 points on 6 for 12 shooting. He also added 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, while disrupting Zach Lavine on the defensive side of the floor. At this point, I really wouldn’t be surprised if Glen Rice Jr. cracks the rotation next season.
Besides Porter and Rice, Khem Birch was the only player to really stand out for the Wizards. Birch averaged nearly 5 blocks per game in college and made sure to add some emphatic blocks to the box score right out of the gate. He blocked 4 shots last night, but his energy and explosiveness was really impressive. Birch finished the game with 6 rebounds and 8 points. Don’t be surprised if he gets a training camp invite from the Wizards. He’s been really impressive.
Washington will play against the Miami Heat on July 15th before the Summer League Playoffs begin. I have a good feeling the Wizards might end up taking the (summer league) championship home.