Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis deserves thought for Sixth Man of the Year

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 24 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 24 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

It goes without saying that Bobby Portis has cemented his status as a fan favorite for the fandom since joining the Milwaukee Bucks last offseason.

Even his teammates have come out and praised the big man for his efforts, the most recent being Jrue Holiday. Following Milwaukee’s 120-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, Holiday applauded Portis for his contributions in the second unit this season, which you can see through the Bucks’ YouTube page:

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"“He’s like Sixth Man [of the Year] to me. He does a really good job off the bench giving us a boost on a nightly basis. I don’t see too many games where Bobby isn’t affecting the game…The way he controls the game, the way that he plays at his own pace, the passion that he plays with. He got two techs last game but I’m living with it just because of the passion that he plays with. I love it.”"

The big man has entirely embraced the opportunity to come off the bench this year, discussing on multiple occasions how competing with a winning organization was what enticed him to the Bucks. Making the postseason just once throughout his first five seasons in the league, it was clear this decision was solely about wanting to compete.

Should Bobby Portis get more recognition in the Sixth Man of the Year race with the Milwaukee Bucks?

Despite having one of the better seasons of his career, Portis has quietly flown under the radar in this year’s Sixth Man race. He has been a constant contributor for the Bucks this year by averaging 11.4 points on .524/.472/.750 shooting splits, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 21.5 minutes per game.

His scoring has provided a solid boost in the second unit, and the 26-year-old is doing it with career-best efficiency. Shooting 52.4 percent from the field on the year, the big man has been knocking down his shots with consistency, particularly from behind the arc. Portis is hitting 47.2 percent of his triples this season, the highest mark of his career by a wide margin. In fact, his stellar shooting from downtown currently ranks fifth in the entire league in 3-point percentage this season.

Along with his improved scoring, Portis has displayed a knack for hauling in rebounds at a more efficient rate. As he recently described to the media following a four-game absence due to the league’s health and safety protocols, the forward has emphasized trying to snatch more rebounds on a game-to-game basis this year. That has been particularly evident lately, as he hauled in double-digit rebounds in four consecutive games earlier this month.

As Holiday outlined, that prolific scoring and rebounding prowess from Portis stems from his immeasurable energy whenever he steps onto the floor. Plays like the one above have become the norm for the sixth man, unquestionably making his presence felt at all times.

With everything taken into account and the impact he has, does Portis have a chance to take home Sixth Man honors by the time the season finishes? The race is far from over with a handful of regular season games left to play, but it will be an uphill battle for Portis, given the stiff competition around the league from other contenders.

Jordan Clarkson is currently the frontrunner for many in this season’s race as he continues putting up career numbers on the best team in the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz. Meanwhile, last year’s winner, Montrezl Harrell, continues making a strong case to retain his title as the reigning Sixth Man and go back-to-back.

A strong finish to the season could raise Bobby’s stock in the running, particularly if he can keep pace with his recent stretch of impressive performances. Whether he wins the award or not, there is no questioning the impact that Portis has off the bench every time he hits the hardwood.

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While he might not receive the national attention that he deserves, everyone in Milwaukee understands how important Bobby Portis is to this team.