Each week, one Bulls player will be selected as The Bulls Charge’s “Player of the Week.” The selections will be based off the player’s performance during the previous week. Readers’ views and suggestions are taken into consideration when choosing the player, but the editor ultimately makes the decision.
#FreeBobbyPortis was a success.
Well, that’s what it seems like with Bobby Portis finally earning some consistent minutes. Unfortunately, it only came as a result of Joakim Noah suffering a left shoulder sprain on Dec. 21 in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
In Portis’ latest week of play, he scored in double figures for three consecutive games for the first time in his young NBA career.
Following the Bulls’ 108-81 win over the Knicks on Friday, head coach Fred Hoiberg said Portis would remain in the rotation even after Noah returns from his injury.
Dec. 28: 104-97 win versus Toronto Raptors
Portis was the Bull who came closest to achieving a double-double with his 12 points and nine rebounds. He may not have been the bench’s leading scorer, but he was, however, one of five Bulls to score in double figures and outscored starters Taj Gibson — who played more minutes than Portis — and Nikola Mirotic.
Portis also scored in double figures for the first time since his first game playing extended minutes, the Bulls’ 107-91 loss to the New York Knicks on Dec. 19.
Dec. 30: 102-100 win versus Indiana Pacers (OT)
Again, Portis wasn’t the bench’s leading scorer, but he still scored in double figures. Not only that, but Portis outscored each of the Bulls’ frontcourt starters: Portis put up 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting while Pau Gasol and Gibson scored 13 and six points, respectively. Mirotic, on the other hand, went scoreless in his 20 minutes.
Jan. 1: 108-81 win versus New York Knicks
Portis played a career-high 29:51 in the Bulls’ redemptive win over the Knicks to start out 2016. In that same game, he finally earned the title of being the bench’s leading scorer — a feat he hadn’t accomplished since the Bulls’ Christmas Day win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Through the 30 games Pau Gasol has played in up until the week-ending win over the Knicks, he has averaged a double-double of 16.3 points and 10.6 rebounds. His scoring average has been enough to deem him as the Bulls’ second-leading scorer behind Jimmy Butler and ahead of Derrick Rose.
Last week, Gasol maintained — and, in some ways, bettered — his production, averaging 17.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 blocks. It’s also worth mentioning he put up such numbers despite shooting just 37.8 from the field.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.