The return of Derrick Rose was the main story on everyone’s mind tonight as the Bulls took on the Piston’s at the United Center, but the story post-game was the play of Otto Porter Jr.
Porter finished the night with 22 points, six rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 31 minutes of play in the Bulls 112-106 victory. He also shot 3-4 from downtown.
Porter has been slow to get going this season averaging just 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game. However, in his last two starts, he has 37 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. He’s also shooting 13-22 from the field.
“Otto I thought had that look in his eye like he wasn’t going to let us lose,” Boylen told the media postgame. “The one thing about Otto that I love the most is he’s a guy in the huddle that’s talking. ‘This is the stop we gotta get. We gotta get to loose balls.’ He’s a coach out there.”
The Bulls have struggled to rebound and play tough defense late in games so far this season. They’ve blown sizeable second-half or fourth-quarter leads in games against the Cavaliers, Knicks, and Hornets.
Crunch time moments require leadership and after losing their previous two games on the road, the Bulls came home and beat a team that they’re supposed to. It’s a long season and this is a young team, but it’s nice to hear the coach recognizing players for their leadership because that’s what a young team typically needs.
Porter Jr. and the Bulls will look to get their first back to back wins on the year on Sunday afternoon against the Indiana Pacers.