Milwaukee Bucks: Bobby Portis has become an influential fan favorite

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Throughout the demolishing 125-91 win by the Milwaukee Bucks over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals to even up the series 1-1, you could hear the relishing fans across Fiserv Foruma shouting “Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!” as they fed off the relentless energy from determined forward Bobby Portis.

The contagious energy and rising intensity level from the Bucks basically summed up the contest from start to finish. After falling to the mastery of Trae Young and the Hawks in Game 1, Milwaukee showed out with a burst of tenacity and fearlessness, leading to a 34-point win at home with the crowd absolutely buzzing.

Needless to say, this was pretty much a must-win for the Bucks since losing the first two games of the series at home would have put them into a disheartening hole, but they bounced back in the most dominant way possible. This resilient team certainly made a statement in Game 2.

The Bucks led by as many as 41 points and never trailed. They shot 52.1 percent from the floor, 36.6 percent from 3-point land, outscored Atlanta 62-30 in the paint, outrebounded them 47-34, and gathered 29 assists.

In addition, they were even better on the defensive end. Milwaukee forced 20 turnovers, including nine from Young, allowed just 25.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and generated 14 steals, which led to 27 fast-break points. Atlanta only had 63 points through the third quarter before pulling the starters.

Ever since the second quarter where the Bucks took off by outscoring the Hawks 43-17, they never looked back. It was an inspiring team effort on both ends of the floor.

As the Milwaukee Bucks even up the series against the Atlanta Hawks following a Game 2 steamroll, Bobby Portis continues to lift the influential spirits.

Every single Buck made their fair share of efficient contributions throughout Friday evening as Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way with 29 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in 29 minutes. Jrue Holiday added 22 points and seven assists, and Brook Lopez was the main difference-maker by posting 16 points on 75.0 percent field goals along with his disrupting defensive presence that caused havoc on the Hawks this time.

Each other guy in head coach Mike Budenholzer’s eight-man rotation thrived in their role, but Bobby Portis’ impact seemed to be the shining spotlight on the hardwood that clearly stood out.

Portis has always been known to be the energizer and spark off the bench for the Bucks, and that has graciously been on full display against Atlanta thus far. He only scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds across 18 minutes during Game 2, but the statistics never determine his true value.

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Bobby has made a career out of thriving off of his own motor to raise the intensity, showcase the grit and grind, and exert non-stop hustle each time he steps foot on the court. His ‘underdog’ mentality and determined approach to the game should be viewed as inspirational, and his teammates on this title-contending Bucks team have surely been feeding off his presence, as well as the Milwaukee Bucks fanbase.

After hearing the crowd consistently shout “Bobby!” at Fiserv, there’s no doubt that Bobby Portis has become an influential part of lifting the energy and overall spirit of the community. He’s become a fan favorite as a result of his unique personality, impactful contributions, and dedication to leave it all out on the floor every night.

“I play my heart out,” Portis said after the game. That’s what you like to hear from one of your role players. That’s the kind of DNA that a championship-worthy team requires. Bobby Portis has it.

It’s great to see him back on the court as well since Budenholzer benched Portis during the late stages of the last series against the Brooklyn Nets in favor of prioritizing defensive matchups. It was understandable and paid off in the end, but it’s a relief to see the former Razorback standout back in the rotation to boost this squad.

Portis’ valuable impact goes under the radar for the most part, and that’s a key reason why he didn’t get enough consideration for claiming the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. Bobby finished ninth in voting for the honor after an incredibly efficient regular season averaging 11.4 points on 52.3 percent field goals, 47.1 percent from 3, and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Despite the lack of recognition, there are obviously bigger achievements in mind for Portis. After all, he signed an inexpensive two-year, $7.4 million contract (2021-22 $3.8 million player option) with the Bucks in the offseason to help this team reach the ultimate goal of winning an NBA Championship.

Bobby Portis will continue to bring the much-needed energy and spark off the bench as the Milwaukee Bucks inch closer to making history. They’re just seven wins away. As much of an energizer that Portis has been throughout the first two games at home, the Bucks will need that same contagious energy and approach on the road in Atlanta as they look to take care of business with the series all tied up at one a piece.

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