Milwaukee Bucks: 3 worthy goals for Bobby Portis during 2021-22 season

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis, Atlanta Hawks: Danilo Gallinari
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Bobby Portis and the Milwaukee Bucks quickly proved to be a perfect match for one another during the team’s turbulent title run last season.

His hustle, energy, and overall determination to succeed made him a fan favorite, in addition to the productivity he logged in the second unit. Without Portis in the lineup, the Bucks do not end their season hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time in 50 years in all likelihood, which is a testament to just how impactful he was for this team.

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Due to how important Portis proved to be for the team and the culture, re-signing him to a very team-friendly contract in the opening minutes of free agency was a big victory for this franchise, certainly their best move during the offseason to this point.

The deal not only signals a sign of loyalty from Portis also but reassures his desire to keep competing at the highest level. Set to run it back with the Bucks next season, here are three goals for him in 2021-22.

Goal No.1 – Bobby Portis must be a reliable defender for the Milwaukee Bucks

As fantastic as he was for the Bucks, one of the biggest knocks on Portis was his subpar play on the defensive end.

This was most notable in the team’s second round series against the Brooklyn Nets, where Portis was benched for the final three games. With an array of talented offensive minds in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden, Portis was getting carved up defensively. With Mike Budenholzer opting to shorten the rotation, the big man’s minutes vanished, and he was kept off the floor until the team advanced on in the postseason.

While the concerns surrounding his defense are somewhat overblown, it is not controversial to say that Portis could still improve his defense. Playing on such a defensive-oriented team like this has pushed him to improve on that side of things, and he showed flashes of improvement at various points last season. Piecing it all together and becoming a reliable defender, particularly one who could embrace the challenge of switching one through five, would be a massive development.

The Bucks helped turn starting center Brook Lopez into one of the most formidable shot-blockers in the league today, and while Portis is not guaranteed the same fate, he could take a step in his defensive progression next season. Another year with the team in this system and around these players should certainly help him in that regard.