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Bucks’ Bobby Portis reacts to becoming a Milwaukee hero in Game 5 in place of Giannis Antetokounmpo

Bobby Portis, Bucks

With Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined for a crucial Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks needed a spark. The Bucks got one from several of their normal starters, with Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday all delivering standout performances. But they also got a huge effort from a less-heralded player and the man who started in The Greek Freak’s place: Bobby Portis.

The Bucks big man stepped up and went for a playoff career-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds in a 123-112 victory that has Milwaukee on the doorstep of a matchup with the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. Portis always plays with a lot of energy, and he was feeding off the raucous crowd all night long. In turn, the crowd was showing him all the love:

Portis had himself a Podium Game and talked about always bringing that energy to the table for the fans and the importance of the home-court advantage:

Portis has hopped around the NBA in recent years after starting his career with the Chicago Bulls. The big man seems to have finally found a legit home in Milwaukee. He enjoyed an excellent regular season and is now contributing in the playoffs in a big way.

With Giannis’ status unclear for the rest of this series, the Bucks will need Portis to continue to deliver in order to finish the job against Atlanta. Game 6 will be more difficult on the Hawks’ home court, so Milwaukee will need to dig deep in order to reach the NBA Finals.

Portis did deliver crucial minutes off the bench in the Bucks’ Game 3 victory in Atlanta, scoring 15 points in 17 minutes. So, he’s no stranger to doing damage away from that home-court advantage he talked so much about.

This has been a back-and-forth series marred by injuries to key players, but it’s giving an opportunity to other players to show how important they are. We’ll see what Game 6 has in store for us and if Giannis and Trae Young will be back in the lineup.