Bobby “Crazy Eyes” Portis was a DNP-CD in the final three games of the Bucks’ second-round series against the Nets. At the time I was befuddled by the decision to sit him, but, given the benefit of hindsight, I’m still a bit befuddled but not as befuddled as I was before. He had scored 6, 2, 4, and 0 points in the first four games of the series, so it’s not like his offensive contributions were missed much. Also, cutting Portis out of the rotation meant more minutes for better players, something that everybody was praying that Bud would do after the previous season’s debacle against the Heat where he said that he couldn’t play Giannis more than 32 minutes.
It’s also unlikely that Portis stood much of a chance against Kevin Durant, but Durant was making everybody into bitchmeat that series, so Portis getting turned into bitchmeat wouldn’t have been anomalous in the slightest.
Now Portis is back in the rotation against the Hawks, and he’s REALLY back in the rotation now that Giannis is out after a scary knee injury that turned out not to be so bad after all. Portis took twenty shots this game, doing his best to replace Giannis’ missing production and honestly doing an okay job at it. And his crazy bugged-out eyeballs were instrumental in hyping up the home crowd and, in turn, hyping up the Bucks. When a crazy-looking guy exhorts you to start cheering and clapping, you comply for fear that you the crazy man will unexpectedly stab you with a concealed switchblade. That’s the kind of raw persuasive power that somebody like Giannis, despite his superior physical attributes, will simply never possess.