The Chicago Bulls really need an impact big man. They have two superstars in the forms of Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler, but other than that, their starting lineup is made up of Rajon Rondo, Taj Gibson, and Robin Lopez. Rajon Rondo is cancer to any team he joins, Taj Gibson is pretty average, and Robin Lopez is commonly known as “the bad Lopez”, which is all you need to know about him.
Fred Hoiberg has one of the most frightening men in the league on his bench. Bobby Portis, the second year player out of Arkansas, has a lot of talent but is still only 21-years-old. Having been part of a strong 2015 draft class, he’s being overshadowed by Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and Devin Booker, but with raw ability at such a young age, he should get more recognition than he deserves.
Portis played merely 17.8 minutes per game in his rookie season. He had quite eye-catching numbers for limited time last season, with 7 points and 5.4 rebounds each night. His three-point shooting last year left much to be desired as he shot at a 30% clip, but in the new season, he’s turned that around with a huge, probably unsustainable increase at 43% from deep.
His per-36-minute stats from this season are stellar. He’d average 14 points and ten rebounds per game to go along with 2.3 steals. The main issue is his shot blocking, where he would average just 0.4 per night per-36, which is more than lacking for a guy who stands at 6’11” and weighs 230 pounds. He shoots an effective clip from inside the arc, shooting 52% as well as 63% from the free throw line, down from last season’s 72%.
Portis needs to get his shot-blocking numbers up if he wants to grow into a stable, dependable, starting-quality power forward in the NBA. He has the grown-man body, decent stats, and he can set a hard screen and will go in hard for rebounds. Additionally, he’s 10 years younger than Taj Gibson, who is getting the start each night ahead of him. Portis always plays hard and fans should expect his time to come eventually, but coach Fred Hoiberg should give him more opportunities to see what the kid can do.