When you think of popular players on the Milwaukee Bucks, you immediately think of Giannis Antetokounmpo or Khris Middleton. Yet, Milwaukee Bucks forward/center Bobby Portis has quickly become a fan-favorite in the city of Milwaukee.
Known for his gritty style of play and relentless intensity on the court, he has resonated with Bucks fans everywhere and has firmly solidified himself as a key piece of the team. With an established presence in the lineup and a steady increase in his overall play, Portis could find himself once again making a major impact for the Milwaukee Bucks off the bench but also averaging career numbers.
Predicting Bobby Portis’ stat line for the Milwaukee Bucks in 2023-2024 season
The story of how Portis became interested in coming to the Cream City is unique itself, but what’s more unique is how his game has blended in beautifully with the Milwaukee Bucks. He was instrumental during their Finals run in 2021, picking up a 16-point performance in the deciding game of the Finals vs. the Phoenix Suns.
Portis’ grit as a player shined through during the playoffs that year, especially considering the fact he didn’t play in the last three games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Still, his tenacious attitude and way of play should not overlook the fact that he’s been a talented player both offensively and defensively for the Milwaukee Bucks, and can get even better as we approach the 2023-2024 NBA season.
Portis’ career didn’t really take off until his third year in the league with the Chicago Bulls. He went from 6.8 points per game in his second year to 13.2 points per game during his third pro season, with his 3-point shooting increasing from 33.3 percent to 35.9 percent. His rebounds nearly doubled from his second to fourth year in the pros, jumping from 4.6 in 2016-2017 to 8.1 in 2017-2018.
When it comes to his 3-point shooting, that is the part of his game that has been able to separate him the most over the last few years. He shot a career best 47.1 percent from deep in 2020-2021, and has been above 37 percent ever since that first year with the Milwaukee Bucks. With Milwaukee’s offense centered around Giannis Antetokounmpo driving and kicking, Portis has been able to demonstrate his ability to shoot and spread the defense.
His rebounding numbers have seen a major uptick because of the aggressive and physical nature he plays with in the paint. Many of the complaints about Portis when he was getting drafted was that he could become lazy rebounding the ball, in particular on the offensive glass. However, his increased strength and already having a strong frame at 6-foot-10, he’s been able to see his rebounding numbers nearly touch double digits. Just last year, he averaged a career best 9.6 boards a contest, which was the highest average among all bench players for the 2023-2024 NBA season, per Hispanos NBA.
In addition to his inside-out presence, he benefits from what many players on the Milwaukee Bucks benefit from: opposing defenses zeroing in on Giannis. With Giannis typically double teamed, or at least heavily guarded in some manor, it frees up players like Portis for either wide open threes or open layups. Portis has a great feel for space in the paint, and has always shown a great ability to play off of Giannis when in the paint. And it’s very clear Giannis benefits from Portis being in the game, as he averaged nearly six assists a game when playing with him, per Stat Muse. As defenses continue to pressure Giannis, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, it’ll only open things up more for Portis on the offensive side of the floor.
With his improvement over his career and being surrounded by great players on the Milwaukee Bucks, and continuing to etch his role further on the team and among other sixth men in the league, Portis could put together an impressive season. Much like his teammate Jrue Holiday, I could see Portis having career numbers that could finally give him the Sixth Man of the Year Award, after finishing third in the voting last year. This is my prediction for Portis’ stats in the upcoming 2023-2024 season:
2023-2024 stat prediction: 16.9 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 1.1 assists per game, 0.5 steals per game, 0.6 blocks per game, 50.1 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three, 72.6 percent from the free throw line.
Portis can continue to grow during his time with Milwaukee, considering he’s only 28-years old and has already seen a tremendous amount of improvement. I don’t think he will be able to touch 20 points a game, at least not playing in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform, but he will still be a major asset giving them almost 17 points off the bench. With Portis on the verge of what I think could be a career season, the Milwaukee Bucks could find themselves once again making another deep run towards the NBA Finals.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks news and analysis.