Analyzing how Bobby Portis has turned his season around for the Milwaukee Bucks

Phoenix Suns v Milwaukee Bucks
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What was missing with Bobby Portis?

Before talking about what has changed, we need to talk about what wasn't working in the first half of the season. There are quite a few things.

First, under Adrian Griffin's coaching, the Bucks were a heavily offensive-minded team. This might look like a strange thing to spot on since Portis is also an offensive-minded player, so it would seem at first that Griffin's system would benefit him. However, it felt like the team was so good at offense that it didn't even need a player like Portis. In some way, he felt redundant.

Portis has been pretty important for the Bucks in the last few years because he was basically the only second-unit player who could consistently create a bucket for himself. There were some stretches where the offense really relied on him. Yet, with Griffin, despite him still being the only real scorer of the second unit, the team already had so much firepower that he didn't really add all that much. On the other end, however, he showed his cracks on defense more than ever because he was less protected than ever.

A lot of things can be said about Griffin's coaching, but his offense had a really good flow to it, and at his worst, you could really feel how Portis stopped it. He's more comfortable when he can post up for a few seconds and when he doesn't have to move the ball all that quickly. Sometimes he hurt that flow while he was looking for his shots. He forced it a bit too much, and he didn't let the scoring come to him naturally.

We'll put that into numbers next, but, in short, he basically added something the team already had and nothing else. While the Bucks were one of the best offenses in that span, they were also one of the worst defenses. It felt like a different kind of player was needed. Someone who could bring more balance to the team and didn't rely that heavily on his scoring was what they needed at that time.