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Knicks forward Bobby Portis isn’t coming to the United Center on Tuesday to play bingo.
Since the Bulls traded him to the Wizards in February, Portis’ agenda has been very simple whenever he faces them: Make them regret the trade every second he’s on the court.
In three games against the Bulls last season, Portis averaged 15 points, nine rebounds and 1.7 blocks — all higher than his averages. In the first game he played against the Bulls after signing with the Knicks during the offseason, he scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and shot 4-for-4 from three-point range.
Portis even let it be known before that beatdown of the Bulls last month at Madison Square Garden that it was coming.
‘‘He was juiced about this game as soon as he came to New York,’’ Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. said of Portis after that game. ‘‘He put it out on social media, looking forward to playing the Chicago Bulls.’’
Now it’s the Bulls’ turn. Or at least it should be. For a team searching for toughness, this rematch against the Knicks should be the ideal fuel for that.
‘‘Should be’’ are two key words for the Bulls. They should be better than 3-7 with the schedule they’ve played. They should be ready for Portis whenever they face him because they all know how personal he can make a game. And they should be taking some pride in playing better in front of a home crowd that has seen only 10 victories since the start of last season.
Carter gets it.
‘‘Oh, yeah, for sure, he did a lot of [trash-talking],’’ Carter said Monday. ‘‘Yeah, no words need to be said. We’re not letting that happen. Bobby, he wants to put on a show. I’m not going to have it. I hope he’s watching this, so he knows I ain’t having it.’’
Carter knows Portis well and considers him a friend. The two hit it off before Portis was traded to the Wizards, but Carter also is starting to get fed up with the losing. He said he and Portis can be cool with each other again after the game.
This is about someone on the Bulls matching Portis’ energy and anger levels.
‘‘He’s always juiced whenever,’’ Carter said. ‘‘For him and for Jabari [Parker, who was traded with Portis], every time we play against those two players, they’re very juiced. They play some of their best basketball. Those are some of my closest friends in this league, so I’m happy for them. They’re doing their thing. But we can’t have no All-Stars when it’s go time. . . . [We] can definitely play better.’’
Carter thinks he and his teammates are closer to playing better — with or without manufactured anger. Beating the Knicks would be a step in a positive direction.
‘‘I feel like we’re definitely one of the most talented young teams in this league,’’ Carter said. ‘‘We just have to play for 48 minutes. I feel like we have great spurts where we’re playing beautiful basketball, and sometimes we lose focus and show our immaturity.’’
Portis will be hoping for that — and letting his former teammates hear about it the entire time.