3 Milwaukee Bucks that must step up with Brook Lopez sidelined

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – NOVEMBER 24 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Bobby Portis will be a key piece in filling the center spot for the Milwaukee Bucks in Lopez’s absence

Portis has become a fan favorite, and it is no question as to why. Portis has become a sort of utilityman for Milwaukee, and he has done an excellent job in a variety of positions. His grit and tenacity make him a key piece to the Bucks frontcourt. Now, with Lopez sidelined indefinitely, he will be a key piece to the fullest extent.

Portis has largely taken over the role as Milwaukee’s starting center ever since Lopez’s injury. The Underdog is a scrappy defender and has a great ability to space the floor. Portis is primarily seen as a power forward but has done a serviceable job while filling in for Lopez at the five. However, as a power forward, it is difficult to stay at the five for a considerable amount of time. That is why head coach Mike Budenholzer will experiment with switching Giannis Antetokounmpo and Portis at the five. Nonetheless, Portis will likely be called to action as a starting center, at least for now. With the addition of Boogie Cousins, it’s likely we could see Portis take less of a workload at the five. However, his minutes in that position will be extremely important.

While Portis doesn’t have the rim-protecting ability of Lopez, he does have the scoring ability. Due to Portis’ intensity on both ends of the floor, he is able to cash in on easy buckets in the paint going against bigger-bodied defenders. If Portis is looking to step up in his role, he will primarily need to step up in his scoring. The defensive question marks can be answered with Giannis as the help defender, but he will need to be able to make those easy baskets down low. Portis has had plenty of success this season down low, and he will need to continue this going forward.

Portis has filled his role nicely in Lopez’s absence. With the news that Lopez will miss even more time, look for Portis to be a key piece in Milwaukee’s frontcourt going forward.