The Bulls need Otto Porter.
On Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Bulls had an opportunity to pick up a statement win. But in the final frame, Porter’s absence was strongly felt, as head coach Jim Boylen opted for a confusing four-guard lineup that, while entertaining, wasn’t going to close out a win against arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference. There just wasn’t enough firepower.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that having Porter, a key two-way starter, back in the lineup could’ve won the Bulls that game. Sure, for all we know, Boylen could’ve still played four guards for some reason (he didn’t throw Chandler Hutchison out there, after all), but Porter’s experience and all-around skillset could’ve certainly helped.
As this Bulls team grows more comfortable with one another, which in all fairness we’ve seen over these past couple games, getting Porter back on the floor is a must. Not only is he one of the Bulls most talented players, but he’s also one of the most seasoned. I’m afraid without a fully healthy Bulls roster, this team might be in store for a bunch of closely contested games that are lost in the final couple minutes. Porter’s presence would (hopefully) help alleviate some of the growing pains for a young team, bringing a higher level of maturity and discipline.
Yet, as urgently needed as he is, his timetable remains indefinite. Since injuring himself during the Bulls game against Atlanta on November 6, we haven’t heard a single positive update. According to Boylen, the soreness remains.
Jim Boylen said Otto Porter Jr. is out vs. Nets and “has some soreness.” Still no timetable for return.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 15, 2019
Ugh x 1,000.
In other news, Daniel Gafford still isn’t getting any playing time. Already a fan favorite in the Chicagoland area, the rookie hasn’t seen the floor for any legitimate minutes this season. Gafford’s been sent to workout with Windy City a couple of times now, and he also played in the team’s first regular-season game last Friday, where he dropped 20 points (9-10 from the field) with five rebounds and three steals.
NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson announced prior to last night’s game that Gafford would be heading to join Windy City afterward, but we received no update on how long he’ll be there. The last time the Bulls assigned Gafford, the organization shared over Twitter that he would be with Windy City for one game before rejoining them. It’s possible the plan is the same now, as the Windy City Bulls play tonight in Ohio, and the Bulls play tomorrow night against the Nets at the United Center.
I don’t mind Gafford getting some more in-game action under his belt, I’ll just continue to prefer it be in the pros. The Bulls still struggle to rebound the basketball, and Luke Kornet has been removed entirely from the team’s rotation. As I always say, give the kid a chance. You’re 4-8, why not? #FreeGafford.