Chicago Bulls send strong messages in Preseason Game 1

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Bobby Portis Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Two bench staples feature one likely suspect, one emerging youngster

It should come as no surprise for you to hear that big man Bobby Portis put on a show. He has developed into the no. 1 option off the bench for the Bulls. The former Arkansas Razorback is truly becoming a staple on this team and is someone the franchise cannot afford to let go — ever.

He’s comfortable coming off the bench. He’s not a “me” guy, and that continues to show with how much energy he brings as the sixth man.

Sunday night, Portis came out swinging and ended the game with 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting in just 19 minutes — that’s astounding. Portis took a shot every minute he was on the floor. But, he made those shots count and added five rebounds and a couple of steals in as well.

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As for the rest of the bench, the shining moments primarily came from recently re-signed guard Antonio Blakeney, who tons of fans wanted back. Not only that, but fans want to see this kid on the court taking shots night-in and night-out.

Against the Pelicans, Blakeney also poured in 21 points like Portis. His came on only 10 shots, though, as he got to the free throw line consistently. Blakeney made all eight of his attempts from the charity stripe, proving he can be a multi-dimensional scorer for the Bulls and not just a three-point specialist.

Things may have looked dim following the Markkanen injury, but the bench came up big and these two look like they are going to be a big part of the team’s future. Don’t lose hope just yet, folks. The young talent is taking shape.