In light of the Wizards’ unexpected sweep over the surprisingly submissive Toronto Raptors, here’s a few notes and numbers from Washington’s four games in Round 1.
* Remember Otto Porter? After playing just six total minutes in last year’s playoffs, Porter logged 32 minutes per in the four games against the Toronto Drakes, averaging nearly 10 points and better than seven boards per game. He finished the series with a net rating of +29 (128/99), while shooting 55-percent from the floor and 50-percent from long range.
It’s probably a little too early to definitively claim Porter’s professional emergence, but there’s no arguing his immense role in the Wizards’ sweeping effort en route to the second round. It’s the game’s biggest path to the game’s biggest stage and Otto Porter chose just the right time (for both team and fans) to remind us he’s still around and only 21 years old.
Here’s some more about Otto, written by yours truly.
* John Wall was soooo Optimus Dime in this series, averaging better than 17 points and 12.5 assists per game. Yowza!
* Say whatever you want about Paul Pierce during the regular season; the way he played in this series (and hopefully throughout the rest of the playoffs) is the reason he’s here. His 15.5 points per game and 58-percent shooting from deep are awesome numbers, but they still don’t represent the timing in which he twisted the dagger in Toronto’s side. So, so brilliant. And that’s why they refer to these old guys as “savvy vets”, and why they refer to Pierce as The Truth.
* Speaking of The Truth, how about that new stretch-four position, huh? Fortunately for Wizards fans (the same fans who have screamed for more Pierce at power forward for the last few months), head coach Randy Wittman finally decided to take a gander at the comments section and realized, “HEY! That does sound like a great idea!”
No, Randy. Your excuse of well we wanted to save him for the playoffs doesn’t work.
* Playoff Bradley Beal is a bad man. Check out this piece by Brett Oswalt at numberFire.
* Yes, even Razor Ramon Sessions deserve praise. He averaged 14 points, four boards and three assists per 36 minutes throughout the series and hit close to 56 percent from downtown. Similar to the Pierce acquisition (but on a different relative scale, of course), this series alone proved Sessions’ value((The Wiz traded away Andre Miller to Sacramento just before the trade deadline to acquire Sessions)).
* Drew Gooden was called on to help the Wizards’ spacing and add a (possible) threat from the three-point line. It worked. Gooden averaged 3.5 shots from deep per game and connected on half of them. Thanks, Big Drizzle.
* And it’s impossible to forget Marcin Gortat, who went from a Polish Machine to a Double-Double Machine by way of great footwork, awesome PnR, and veteran angles. For the series, Gortat averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks per game. This was the kind of line the Wizards FO envisioned when they forked over all that money last summer.
* Moving forward, all Wizards fans should take a rooting interest in the Brooklyn Nets. Somehow they’ve tied their series with Atlanta at two a piece and one could argue they even have some momentum after coming from behind two down. It’s not that either team is necessarily lethal right now, but it feels like the safer bet to draw the ghost of Deron Williams and Brook Lopez than to pray for Kyle Korver and Hotlanta to remain cold.
Happy Playoff Basketball!