Otto Porter has not always looked like himself during the Washington Wizards’ first-round playoff series with the Toronto Raptors. He’s tallied over 30 minutes in four of the first five games, but he doesn’t look as comfortable moving off the ball on offense, and he’s fallen behind Toronto’s ball-handlers at times on the other end.
And now we know why.
According to The Washington Post‘s Candace Buckner, Porter has been playing out the series with a left leg injury:
Otto Porter has played with a bone contusion in his left leg that has been monitored by the Wizards’ medical staff, according to a person close to the situation.
On Thursday, Wizards Coach Scott Brooks was vague about Porter’s status for Game 6, which is to be played Friday night inside Capital One Arena at 7 p.m. The Wizards trail the Raptors three games to two in the best-of-seven series. “Anything’s possible, but we hope for the best,” Brooks responded when asked if Porter possibly will not play Friday. “I know he’s banged up. That’s all I know as of right now.”
This doesn’t come as a huge shock. Not only has Porter looked off for much of the series, but he’s dealt with a few various injuries over the course of this season—most notably in the right hip, right leg and right thigh.
Though this injury comes on the other side of his body, his previous setbacks could be symptoms of his condition. If he’s been favoring his right side in any way, that theoretically puts more pressure on his left side.
This, obviously, is purely speculation. I’m no doctor. But I don’t need to be one to tell you the Wizards losing Porter for Game 6 would be a huge blow. Even now, at partial strength, he’s one of their most versatile defenders. Kelly Oubre Jr. is the only player who would edge him out at full strength, and John Wall, along with Oubre, is the only other defender who’s truly outplayed him for this series.