Title: Otto Porter Hopes To Learn From The Past To Slow Down DeMar DeRozan And The Raptors
Date: April 19, 2018
Original Source: Dime Magazine (Uproxx Sports)
Synopsis: In my latest for Dime Magazine at Uproxx Sports, I wrote about the lessons Otto Porter learned guarding DeMar DeRozan in the 2014-15 playoffs and how he’ll need them now that the Wizards are down 0-2 to the Raptors in the rematch.
TORONTO – The first round of the 2014-15 playoffs hung over the start of this year’s rematch between the Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors. In the earlier edition, the Wizards swept the Raptors, sending them to large-scale changes and setting up a narrative that will persist at least until the end of the current rematch, depending on how things go: The Raptors can’t win in the playoffs, because their perennially excellent regular-season offense dries up there.
That probably wasn’t fair or predictive given the roster churn for both sides since then, but that narrative won’t be shaken until the Raptors fulfill the full promise of their roster in the postseason. There was a subplot from that earlier series that maybe didn’t carry enough weight entering this one, though: The 2015 playoffs were essentially the education of Otto Porter, a trial-by-fire defensive test in the form of four games opposite DeMar DeRozan.
To that point, Porter had yet to consistently deliver on the promise of his 6’9 frame with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, strong block, steal, and rebound rates for a wing, and the second-best WARP projection in the class that made him the No. 3 pick in 2013. He was just a sophomore, after all, and after playing sparingly as a rookie, his second season provided occasional, if irregular, flashes. In the playoffs, though, Porter would be paramount.