Analyzing Bobby Portis’ role in the Milwaukee Bucks rotation this season

Chants of “BOBBY! BOBBY! BOBBY!” are a frequent sound heard around the Fiserv Forum in recent years, however panic set in with some Milwaukee Bucks fans early in the off season when Bobby Portis turned down his player option with the team. Thankfully the fan favorite didn’t plan on leaving Milwaukee and signed a well deserved 4 year, $49 million contract.

Bobby Portis has experienced a career revolution in Milwaukee after having bounced from the Bulls to the Wizards to the Knicks before finding a home in Milwaukee. Portis said it in an interview with the athletic (subscription required) about developing a relationship with his coaches, “they just let Bobby be Bobby.”

Let’s have a look at where Portis will fit into the Bucks rotation this coming season.

Bobby is coming off a career year in the NBA where he recorded 14.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and nearly one block per game. Throw in 1.2 assists and nearly one steal a game and it’s a hell of a season. It’s worth noting that Portis shot 47.9 percent from the field (third highest of his career) and 39.3 percent from three (again, the third-best of his career).

All of this was achieved in a career-high 28.2 minutes per game, thanks largely due to the fan favorite Portis replacing Brook Lopez in the starting lineup for most of the season while Lopez recovered from back surgery. With Brook Lopez now healthy and back in the starting five it is likely that Portis will go back to his role from the bench where Coach Bud will rely on him to be Milwaukee’s sixth man. Some may see this as a step back for the man from Arkansas, however the Bucks bench struggled desperately to score last season, especially against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs, so having a man who averaged 14 points a game can only be seen as a bonus.

The Bucks’ number 9 has shown that he can be a versatile forward playing as both a power forward and a center when required. Having a player like him coming off the bench when our starters need a rest fills me with confidence that we shouldn’t lose much in terms of offense or defense with Portis on the court. You would also be hard pressed to find a player in the NBA that plays with more passion and energy than Bobby Portis has for Milwaukee.

Portis showed last year that he can bring a spark to the court when the team requires it and we all know he can get the Milwaukee crowd on their feet making noise. Both of which are a big part of why fans love him. Personally, I’d say that he is a great role-model for the rookies and young Bucks that will be around the NBA roster this season.

I think there’s a fair argument that Portis could be the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year this season coming if he continues to play the way we all know he can which would then open up the question as the season goes on. In the future could Bobby be Brook Lopez’s replacement in the starting 5?

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