Bucks’ Portis making most of opportunities off the bench

Bobby Portis has been outstanding coming off the Milwaukee Bucks bench this season.

Through 28 contests, Portis is averaging 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 55.6% from the field and 48.4% from 3-point range. And he’s doing that in just 21.8 minutes per game.

Dating back to the 1982-83 season, only three other players have posted 10+ points and 7+ rebounds over a full campaign while averaging fewer than 22 minutes per game.

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The others? Two players in 2015-16 — Denver’s Nikola Jokic (10.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG) and Oklahoma City’s Enes Kanter (12.7 PPG, 8.1 RPG) — and Jusuf Nurkic (10.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG) in 65 games split between Denver and Portland in 2016-17.

In the month of February, Portis has suited up for all of the Bucks’ nine games and has registered 14.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 assist in 21.8 minutes per contest. He’s shooting 53.8% from downtown (14 of 26) in that span.

What Portis is doing is impressive, but could he be in the running for a bit of hardware? According to Sports Betting Dime, Portis has the 11th-best odds to take home the 2020-21 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. Utah guard Jordan Clarkson, who averages 18.2 points, and 4.1 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per game, is the leader in the clubhouse in terms of odds.

Portis’ role might be too small to take home any trophies, but there’s no arguing his efficiency.

Milwaukee will need Portis to step up once again Thursday night for its rematch against Toronto. The Bucks have lost four straight games, their longest skid since 2018. Opponents have tallied 123 points per game while shooting 50.7% from the field.

Toronto guard Fred VanVleet went off for 33 points against the Bucks on Tuesday. Over his last eight games, VanVleet has tallied 24.5 points per game while shooting 46.6%. That’s much improved from an average of 18.8 points and 39.8% clip over his first 20 contests.

The game between Milwaukee and Toronto will be aired on FOX Sports Wisconsin, with “Bucks Live” beginning at 6 p.m.

Statistics courtesy Sportradar