Bobby Portis to start Saturday for Bulls

SHARE Bobby Portis to start Saturday for Bulls

Bobby Portis is competing for a spot in Fred Hoiberg’s rotation. | Associated Press

Now Bobby Portis gets his turn.

The second-year player will start at power forward Saturday night when the Bulls host the Indiana Pacers. Fred Hoiberg said at Saturday’s shootaround it was pre-determined that Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic and Portis would each get starts in the first three preseason games.

“We felt Bobby, again, has done a nice job with the camp,” Hoiberg said. “He got limited minutes in the last game, so we’re going to give him the opportunity to start tonight.”

Portis, who played 16 minutes on Thursday in Indiana, could be battling for a starting spot but is more likely competing with Cristiano Felicio for a spot in the rotation. And Hoiberg confirmed Felicio himself will get a preseason start.

“We’ve got five bigs that we can throw in there at any time and we feel pretty comfortable with any of those guys on the floor,” Hoiberg said. “Again, certain nights if one of them’s not in the rotation maybe we throw them in there if we have a certain matchup.

“It’s important for all these young guys go out there and show what they can do.”

 Valentine update

Hoiberg said Denzel Valentine (sprained left ankle) is getting better. Hoiberg said the Bulls hoped Valentine would get on the court early next week to get moving and test the ankle’s recovery. At this point, Valentine hasn’t done any sprinting but the news isn’t bad.

The good thing is he’s walking without a limp now, and hopefully (we’ll) get him back soon,” Hoiberg said.

Valentine, the Bulls’ first-round pick out of Michigan State, sprained the ankle Monday and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

This and that

When asked about his plan for Saturday night’s usage of Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade, Hoiberg explained why Butler didn’t play as planned during Thursday’s second half at Indiana. Butler got stiff after sitting the second quarter, and Hoiberg said the team didn’t want to take any chances, so it kept Butler out of the rest of the game.

“A lot of that will be by feel,” Hoiberg said. “We will have a plan going in (Saturday) but you always got to make an adjustment if you have to.”

Butler and Wade will get “a little bit more” time Saturday. On Thursday, Butler played 12 minutes and Wade 22.

As for Indiana, coach Nate McMillan said former Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (hip) is expected to play.

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