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

Phoenix Suns v Milwaukee Bucks
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A better fit

That balance didn't come from a roster change, though, but from a bench one. The team is still better at offense than it is at defense, as expected with the current roster, but Doc Rivers has fixed the rotation so the second unit doesn't just get torched every time. In fact, he's found ways to protect Portis in particular, making him blitz on screens so he can't be chased in the switch. The system doesn't expose him as easily and does need his scoring abilities a bit more often, creating an environment in which he doesn't feel out of place.

The biggest change has come in the ways he tries to score. Let's not get this wrong: he's still a player who is more comfortable when he has the time and the space to post up, but he's not boldly going at it anymore. His decision-making seems better; he's reading the defense and making the right play more often. That is huge because he's not just scoring more, as you would expect when Giannis is out, but he's being way more efficient.

Before the break, 50.2 percent of his 2-point baskets were unassisted, but that number has fallen to 35.4 percent since. And you don't even need to crunch the numbers to jump to the conclusion that he feels more integrated into the offense because you can just tell by looking at him. He's letting the game come to him.

He's cutting to the basket and getting assisted in the dunker spot. He waits for the right matchup to ask for the ball in the post. He's still creating some buckets for himself, but he's relying on the team's offense more, and that's helping his efficiency. That also means he's not forcing that much.

He can be a bit stubborn sometimes, and there are some possessions in which you just know he's going for the post-up no matter what, but he's cutting those off a little.

He's the second-ranked player in the NBA in post-up frequency only behind Denver's Nikola Jokic, and he used to try to score most of the time without really reading if it was the right play. That's not the case now. He was going for the shot in 66.7% of his post-ups before the All-Star, but is shooting just the 50% of them now. And you can tell that's a good thing, because his field goal percentages on those plays has risen from 47.5% to 52.2% (it was at 57.1% before his terrible shooting night against the Nets).

This means he's also more willing to pass the ball. One of his problems had to do with the fact the he was ball-hogging at times, and he tried to go for his basket despite it not necessarily being the best play. That has changed, too, because now 34.9 percent of his post-ups end up in a pass, while it was just 14.4 percent before the break.

He's even making an impact without scoring. He shot poorly against Brooklyn Thursday night, but he understood that and took a role as a rebounder and defender. He closed the game at center because he didn't get obsessed with scoring and found other ways to be productive, which was a great change for a player who used to be borderline unplayable when he wasn't feeling it.

In short, he's being more contained, but in a good way. He's actually shooting more than he used to because he has been playing without Giannis Antetokounmpo lately, but he's also selecting those shots much better. He's not only scoring more, but he's doing it more efficiently and he's looking more confident in his game.

Now, he just needs to keep it going. He's not the player you would want to take the biggest shots, but he's the kind that, on a good night, can really swing a playoff game with his scoring. So, if the Milwaukee Bucks want to go deep in the postseason, they will probably need Portis to extend this stretch as much as he can.