Snub: Bobby Portis (Jalen Brunson, too)
Really, I just want to give Portis an extended shoutout because we are very lazy with Sixth Man of the Year, and it looks like we’re going in that same direction in a matter of days. It’s surprising to see Brunson not make the Ffinals given the love he had been receiving from media members, and rightfully so given his steady play for the Dallas Mavericks. On some select nights, he’s even been their second-best player behind Luka Dončić.
But all season long, you look at odds, you observe conversations, you comb through talking points, and Portis wasn’t given a fair shot at even being mentioned for this award, which isn’t really his fault. It’s as if people are tired of the Milwaukee Bucks, who are victims of their own regular-season success and playoff failures, which is likely to show on this season’s awards ballots. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had another outstanding regular season, won’t sniff repeating as an MVP or Defensive Player of the Year. And Portis, who should’ve been in Sixth Man of the year conversations all season long, is nowhere to be found. Not even a +10,000 on sportsbettingdime.
Portis averaged 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds on 52 / 47 / 74 splits while logging just under 21 minutes per contest. His per 36 numbers were 19.8 points and 12.2 rebounds. His 121 offensive rating was tied for second on the Bucks (with Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, and Pat Connaughton) and one-point behind Giannis. And his defensive rating of 109 only trailed Giannis on the team (107) among qualified players.
Every Sixth Man of the Year winner from 2011-2019 was a shooting guard until Montrezl Harrell broke the streak last year. Often the same kind of two-guards as well (Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford). In fact, all but in two instances were 6MOTY winners shooting guards since 2004. Not even saying Portis should win, but damn, can the dude get a mention for being one of the most efficient off-the-bench scorers in the league? For a title contender at that?
(From February 17 to May 8, Jordan Clarkson netted his 17.2 points on just 39 / 31 / 86 shooting splits, by the way.)