At this point you have to chalk it up to bad luck.

Just two days after Kris Dunn was diagnosed with a moderate sprain in his left MCL, Bulls forward Bobby Portis has suffered the same injury in his right knee. Like Dunn, Portis is also expected to miss the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Portis was running back in transition late Wednesday night in the Bulls' win over the Hornets when he planted on his right knee and went tumbling into the stands. He laid on the ground for an extended amount of time, and though he walked off under his own power was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

He chose not to speak with reporters after the game.

If Portis does indeed miss extended time, it would likely put Jabari Parker back into the starting lineup. When Lauri Markkanen was ruled out for 6 to 8 weeks with an elbow sprain it was Parker who went into the starting lineup at power forward. That experiment lasted three games before Fred Hoiberg put Portis and Wendell Carter Jr. (for Robin Lopez) into the starting lineup.

That had been the starting frontcourt for the final two preseason games and first four regular season games, but now Parker will again need to step up. Though Parker has struggled mightily defensively, he is averaging 14.8 points on 46 percent shooting and 5.8 rebounds in 26.0 minutes per game.

The domino effect could be Chandler Hutchison seeing extended minutes as the Bulls have no other real option but to go small on the second unit with Portis and Markkanen out. Hutchison had the best game of his young pro career on Wednesday, scoring 8 points on 4 of 5 shooting in a second quarter that helped the Bulls hang with the Hornets in the first half.

 

It's awful timing for Portis, who will be a restricted free agent next summer. While this doesn't end his season, by the time he returns Markkanen might be back in the lineup. These next couple weeks were going to be a showcase for Portis in the starting lineup. He had averaged 10.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in 28.3 minutes.

And once again, the onus will likely fall on Zach LaVine to spur the Bulls offense. Without Dunn, Markkanen or Portis, LaVine and his 32.3 points per game will need to step up even more, especially with a difficult schedule upcoming: after the Hornets and Hawks on Friday and Saturday, the Bulls will host the Warriors, Nuggets, Pacers and Rockets next week.