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Bobby Portis thinks 5-game road trip will test Chicago’s ‘road-dog’ mentality

Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis thinks the upcoming five-game road trip is just what his team needs to test its mettle. Coming off four straight losses (the last three at home), the Bulls will embark on a west coast tour that will have them face the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors, and Utah Jazz this week before finishing the trip next week against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The Bulls will return home to take on the Miami Heat next Saturday.

“I think it’s going to be a test of our road-dog mentality,” said Portis, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

Portis posted 17 points on a 117-100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, which marked his return after missing seven games with an ankle injury. The stretch power forward is one of head coach Jim Boylen’s best hopes for injecting energy into this roster, along with Kris Dunn. But even Portis’ notoriously high motor is unlikely to be enough to turn the Bulls into road dogs overnight.

Chicago is 5-14 on the road, consistent with its record of 10-30 through the first half of the 2018-19 season. Yet the “road-dog” sentiment is an attitude Boylen was hoping would adhere to the rest of the roster, one which has gone 5-11 since he was named head coach of the team on Dec. 3.

The Bulls are likely headed toward another lottery bid for the 2019 NBA Draft, currently tied for the second-worst record in the East and the third-worst record in the league with the New York Knicks.