The Washington Wizards have been dominant all NBA summer league long, and after dispatching the Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves in back-to-back games, they met the Miami Heat today, looking to improve to 3-0.
Despite gaining a 20-point advantage, the Wizards failed to hold on to the lead, but win the game nonetheless by two points, 85-83, improving to 3-0.
Otto Porter, once again, was spectacular. Averaging 19 points per game prior to the game against Miami, Otto Porter backed up his two performances by scoring 19 points to go along side 7 rebounds. Porter didn’t force any unnecessary shots up, and even though he didn’t do much ball handling, the offense ran much smoother when he was on the floor.
He continued to move well without the ball, finding open shots from mid-range, en route to his 19 points. Otto Porter also knocked down a couple of and-1 shots, along with two 3-point shots. He made 7 of his 13 attempts from the field.
Glen Rice Jr. was also fantastic against the Minnesota Timberwolves and continued to play well tonight. Rice was on fire in the first quarter and finished the period with 18 points. He made multiple three point shots, but his ability to get to the basket was on full display. No one on the floor for the Miami Heat could stop his penetration. He struggled in the second half and even picked up a technical foul after becoming visibly frustrated, but still finished the game with 24 points and 7 rebounds.
Besides Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr., Khem Birch and Daniel Orton were also impressive tonight. Birch continued to finish shots around the basket, scoring 7 points, but his effectiveness in the rebounding department really stood out. He grabbed 11 rebounds, including two crucial ones on the offensive side of the floor late in the fourth quarter. If Birch continues to play this well, there’s no doubt that he’ll get another look during training camp.
Daniel Orton chipped in with 8 of his own points to go along side 5 rebounds. Orton has also been very solid, and surprisingly mobile for his size. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets a training camp invite as well.
Even though the Wizards did struggle to keep control of the ball (Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. combined for 13 turnovers), they managed to overcome it and come out with the victory. As Rice said at the end of the game, it’s better to learn from a win than a loss.