Photos of Bobby Portis, the Bulls’ top pick (No. 22) in the 2015 draft.
Bobby Portis didn’t let his worst performance of the season affect his confidence, and that could go a long way toward the second-year Bulls forward playing a big role down the stretch.
Portis bounced back from missing the four shots he took — all 3-pointers — during the Bulls’ victory over the Hawks on Saturday with an inspired effort Sunday against the Pelicans. He scored 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds, not hesitating to fire away.
"I’m taking the shots when I’m open," Portis said. "One thing that all the players encourage me to do is shoot the ball. I’m very confident in my shot right now. I kind of wanted to bounce back from (Saturday)."
Portis scored 11 of his 21 off the bench in the second quarter and drained all five of his field-goal attempts. That helped spark the Bulls to a 19-point lead they never relinquished en route to their fourth consecutive victory.
"I’m trying to stay in there and hang around and bring the team some energy," Portis said. "One thing I can really help the team in is come in and play at a high level and play with a lot of energy."
Waiting on Wade: Dwyane Wade, recovering from an elbow injury and expected to miss the rest of the regular season, was scheduled to join the Bulls in New York, where they continue a four-game trip Tuesday. The Bulls have gone 6-3 during Wade’s absence, but coach Fred Hoiberg said the veteran would be a big asset if the team reaches the postseason.
"Dwyane, especially when we get into fourth quarters, if we get a little bit stagnant, he’s the guy that we can give the ball to and good things happen," Hoiberg said. "I’m proud of the guys for stepping up, especially our young guys when they’ve gotten this great opportunity to play. But Dwyane continues to work. We’ll see him in New York, and hopefully he’ll continue to ramp up his activity."
Postseason focus: The Bulls’ four-game winning streak is the longest current one in the Eastern Conference, and with five games remaining, they stand in seventh place and control their destiny in the playoff race.
"We just have to go out with the mindset and the focus every night to again put ourselves in position to win and focus on going out to execute our game plan," Hoiberg said. "(We need to) continue to play unselfishly on the offensive end."