Boylen plans to keep Porter in bench role

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr., left, shoots against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, March 6, 2020. The Pacers won 108-102.

    Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr., left, shoots against Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Friday, March 6, 2020. The Pacers won 108-102.

 
 
Updated 3/9/2020 9:54 PM

He hasn't played much this season, but Bulls forward Otto Porter had a nice game in Brooklyn on Sunday. He scored 23 points in 25 minutes and added 4 steals.

While Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. returned from injuries and went straight to the starting lineup, coach Jim Boylen plans to keep using Porter off the bench.

 

"We haven't discussed that yet," Boylen said Monday at the Advocate Center. "I think he's been productive where he's at. He's done a good job of every game getting a little bit better. I thought defensively yesterday was one of the better games he's had since he came back. He's a talented guy that can score, and we need that. So I won't jump into anything on that just yet."

Porter can be a valuable player for the Bulls, he just hasn't been on the court much since arriving in a trade from Washington last February. The main reason he didn't come back as a starter is probably because he'd been out since Nov. 6 with a broken foot.

It also seems to help the Bulls when one of their better defensive players, Shaq Harrison or the now-injured Kris Dunn, is on the floor to take the tougher defensive assignments.

Bigs need more boards:

The box score from Sunday's loss in Brooklyn suggested the Bulls' rebounding issues are not getting better.

The Bulls were outrebounded 50-31, although each team finished with just 5 offensive boards. More telling was who got the rebounds. Guards Shaq Harrison and Coby White led with 8 and 6, respectively, followed by Thaddeus Young with 5.

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Among the centers, Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 3 rebounds, while Daniel Gafford had none in 16 minutes. The Bulls are among the worst teams in the NBA in rebound percentage.

"I think they're trying," coach Jim Boylen said. "I think we missed a ton of shots, didn't we? We missed 63 shots, I think, so there's a lot of defensive rebounds out there. And they shot a bunch of free throws too, right? So less defensive rebounds for us.

"I hear you that our defensive rebounding is a concern. I've been saying that all year. We've got to do it by committee. Our bigs and our smalls have to rebound, and we'll just keep coaching it."

Bulls horns:

Longtime Bulls center Joakim Noah officially signed with the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. ... Brooklyn's 29 turnovers against the Bulls on Sunday tied the highest number in the league this season. The Bulls coughed up 29 turnovers themselves Feb. 23 against Washington. ... Tuesday will mark the first day reporters will not be allowed in locker rooms post game due to concerns about the coronavirus. Interviews will take place outside the locker room.

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