Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis showed he can still be dominant in the team’s victory over the Lakers on Saturday, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes. Porzingis finished with 27 points and five assists, helping his team win 127-119.
“Just down the stretch, we wanted to play through him,” teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. “No one could stop K.P. at the elbow. He was just turning around and shooting over everybody. It’s going to be great just to see if we can get him a full season. We already know what he can do.”
Porzingis was acquired by the Wizards in February. He has dealt with a variety of injuries over his career (and hasn’t played over 60 games since the 2016/17 season), but he can still be productive when healthy. In seven games with Washington, he’s averaging 20.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest.
There’s more out of the Eastern Conference:
- DeAndre Jordan is discovering his niche as a late-season addition with the Sixers, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines. Jordan was waived by the Lakers earlier this month and subsequently signed with Philadelphia. He recorded eight points and seven rebounds in the team’s win over Dallas on Friday, logging 13 minutes off the bench.
- Longtime Heat veteran Udonis Haslem briefly explained why the team has had success developing players in recent years, as relayed by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Those undrafted guys come here – Max [Strus], Gabe [Vincent], Caleb [Martin], Duncan [Robinson], Omer [Yurtseven], Chris Silva – when those guys come in here, it’s an automatic expectation from me to do more than the guys that got drafted, do more than the guys that got signed, work harder, push more, pay attention to detail more,” Haslem said. “And nobody complains here. That’s one thing about these young guys; they don’t complain.”
- Playing Markieff Morris at small-ball five is no longer a stretch for the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel contends. Morris saw action as a backup center against Oklahoma City on Friday, scoring 13 points in nearly 20 minutes. The Heat could play Morris more at center in certain lineups and matchups, as nine-year veteran Dewayne Dedmon has struggled in recent weeks.